Holidays are wonderful occasions to express our love for family and friends. Never is there a better excuse to indulge special people than with presents they would cherish for a long time. Still, saving money over the holidays is a wise choice for everyone.
Excessive holiday spending is one of the reasons why many people get into debt or get deeper into debt. They spend so much over the holidays that they spend months paying off the holiday bills. Factor in the interest you pay and the final amount doesnÂ't seem so cheery after all.
Decide how much to spend.
How much are you going to spend during the holidays? A better question may be, how much can you afford to spend during the holidays?
You already know how much money you can free up for holiday spending. Now create a budget. How much goes to dĂ©cor, presents, food and other expenses? Decide how much you want to allocate to each expense. The secret to successful budgeting is sticking to it. Make sure that you stick to your budget so you wonÂ't go into debt.
Harness the power of the Internet
Do you have a lot of friends and relatives youÂ'd like to send cards to? Buying cards for each one of them can rack up a bill. Why not email them a custom card? Create your own digital holiday greeting card and send them to family and friendsÂ' email addresses. You can even personalize each card to take into account the recipientÂ's unique personality. Take advantage of todayÂ's technology.
Recycle old wrapping paper. Use plain colored paper you decorated your self. Tear up a newspaper or colorful magazine pages and use those to wrap your presents. Or, you can raid the local dollar store and buy cheap but pretty wrapping paper. ItÂ's all in the imagination.
Make a list.
Make a list and stick to whatever is written there. Put careful thought into your list. Who gets presents? How much do you spend on each person in your list? What are you preparing for dinner? Will you be having a party? What items do you need? Remember, write everyone and everything in your list.
Shop with cash.
Leave the credit cards at home. If you want to stick to your budget, pay in cash. You can control your spending better if you do not shop with credit. Shopping in cash makes you more aware of each dollar that leaves your pocket. Once you run out of cash, thatÂ's the end of the road for you. With a definite and tangible budget for spending, you watch your purchases more and spend more time looking for the best possible bargains.
Make your gifts.
Why not make your own gifts instead of buying them? A box of freshly baked cookies, soft and moist brownies, a jar of home made jam, a scrapbook, handmade bags, a poem or song. These are just some gift giving options for you to explore. You can give the gift of time if your intended recipient needs to spend some time relaxing. Volunteer to babysit the kids, walk the dog or take over a disliked chore. You canÂ't put a dollar value on quality time. You donÂ't have to spend money to make a gift a beautiful one. Be creative and perceptive. Know what your intended recipients need, like or want. Knowing those will give you the chance to knock them off their feet with your gift of choice.
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