While it may feel like this year has only just begun, the holiday season will soon be fully in swing. With Halloween right around the corner now's the time to start planning for all the really expensive holidays that follow shortly after. Here are some tips to help you try to curb how much you spend this holiday season:
Make a Thorough Budget
It is commonly known that the best way to avoid overspending is to have a budget and stick to it, and that principle is perhaps most important during the holiday season. Make a list of who you need to buy presents for and how much you're going to spend on each person. Plan out what expensive meals you might cook or enjoy out. Don't forget to include those extra things that can really add to your budget such as alcohol, travel, and fun activities for your family.
Track What You've Spent
It's really easy to get so caught up in enjoying the holiday season that you don't realize how much money you're actually spending. There are many apps out there that can easily help you track your spending to ensure you're sticking to that budget that you've painstakingly put together.
Don't Overdo It
If you're looking to save some money this year try toning down your celebrations just a little. While it might seem like a fun idea at the time, offering to host Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, AND the New Year's party might all be a bit too much for your wallet. However, don't feel like you have to shirk all of your family hosting duties, as you can still offer to host one or two meals or parties. In addition, think about what festive things you're actually spending your money on. Maybe you don't need a new outfit for every holiday party you're going to, and maybe you don't need to buy multiple in season hot drinks from Starbucks every week.
Rethink Your Gift Giving
Buying presents for everyone from your kids to your parents to your in-laws is easily where a huge chunk of your budget would go this holiday season. Instead, consider trying something new. Whether it's deciding to not do presents at all this year and instead give some money to charity, or if it's going Secret Santa style and having everyone only buy a gift for one secret person, there are many ways you can cut down on the gifts and save some money.