The 6 Best Ways to Avoid Overspending this Holiday

6 Tips for Staying in the Green This Season

With the start of the holidays peeking around the corner, there’s a lot to be excited for – including incredible sales! But watch out – in all the excitement, don’t let your spending take you from happy holidays to broke.

How can you protect your finances during this season? Kansas City Credit Union is here to walk you through quick tips on how to avoid overspending during the holidays!

1. Make a Spending List – and Check it Twice!

The first rule of finance is to live within your means, and the holiday season is no exception. Start by planning for necessities – groceries, household supplies, etc. and then set aside spending money that won’t require the use of your savings.

Then it’s time to write up your own version of Santa’s Nice List and decide who is getting a gift this year; allot an amount for that gift and don’t spend more than that! Don’t forget hostess gifts or the people who serve you all year long: helpful humans like your teachers, your mailman, and your garbagemen.

2. Plan for Hidden Expenses in Your Budget

While you’re making your budget, be sure to double check items that may fly under the radar during the holiday season. Gift wrapping, travel expenses and shipping costs aren’t free!

Don’t forget the higher heating bill, as well as the electricity running your holiday lights and decorations! While “convenience” items can ease the stress of holiday planning, keep in mind that too many paper plates and utensils are just one more charge on your credit card.

3. Research Your Holiday Bargains

Every store has sales this time of year so don’t get too caught up in the excitement of “a good deal.” A 20% OFF sale is still charging you 80% for that item. Do your research and discover which seller offers the best price before making your purchase.

4. Say No to Impulse Shopping

Practicing self-discipline this holiday season will save you loads of money! Not giving in to the sale immediately allows you to have time to do your research on the best price – but it can also save you from unnecessary purchases!

Did you just find “the perfect present” for someone on your list – but you’ve already bought them something? Walk away! Once you’ve reached your set budget amount for someone, cross that name off the list and move on!

Quick note for the out-and-about shoppers – either account for those coffee stops and hot pretzels in your budget or don’t drop by the shops; holiday treats can cost quite a pretty penny.

5. Gift Smarter

There are many gift alternatives that will help cut down on your holiday shopping lists. Consider going in on a present for someone with a more highly priced item in mind; for larger families or office settings, opt for a gift exchange so that everyone can save money and still enjoy the gift of giving.

Another fun option is to check out the latest in creative DIY gifts; don’t knock this option off as tacky! There are plenty of ideas online so that you can give something meaningful regardless of your level of creativity – the trick is to use your skillset for something you’re good at.

Bake your coworker’s favorite Christmas cookies or knit your friend the coziest blanket; if you have experience with photography, consider framing a photo for your mother (she’ll LOVE it, trust us) or offer your services for free to the couple next door.

6. Put Yourself Aside

In the holiday spirit of selfless giving, the best present you can get yourself is to not get one. Many people overspend each holiday by gifting themselves “a little something” and research shows that this habit is quick to sabotage your spending. Skip the self-sabotage and choose cheer this year – your bank account will thank you.

There’s no need to be a Scrooge this holiday season – just use a little financial discernment and keep track of your spending during the holidays. With these quick tips from KCCU, you can enjoy the holiday spirit and shopping without the anxiety of going in to debt.

Kansas City Credit Union wants to help you make the best financial decisions for you – this season and every season! Ready to start your journey to financial freedom? We’re here to help! Contact us today!