With the turn of spring, the December holidays are finally over. If you were a little too generous with your gift giving, you may need to learn how to give practically with the next season. This article will teach you how to manage your holiday expenses next time you are to plan for an holiday.
Read on to discover 5 tips on how to manage and afford your holiday expenses.
1. Pay Cash
With the turn of spring, the December holidays are finally over. If you were a little too generous with your gift giving, you may need to learn how to give practically with the next season. Read on to discover 5 tips on how to manage and afford your holiday expenses.
1. Pay Cash
First and foremost, you should only spend what you can afford in the first place. Stockpile some cash in a no-minimum, no-penalty savings account. You won’t earn a lot of interest, but you will set aside a certain amount of money for holiday gifts.
In fact, now would be a great time to open a savings account. Deposit a few dollars every week, and you’ll end up with your holiday expense budget. Remember, don’t spend more than you have! Your cash on hand is your budget, so adjust your purchases accordingly.
Alternatively, you could stash your cash in an envelope, but you run the risk of spending that money on an impulse buy before the holidays. If you put the money in the bank and forget about it until December, you’re less likely to spend it on something else.
2. Give Handmade Gifts
Another option is to give handmade gifts that are specially created with your recipient in mind. It’s important to note that planning ahead will help bide you some time to present these gifts. If you can knit, bake, or craft, then you’re already ahead of the game.
Figure out what your talent is and start collecting supplies and doing prep work now. For example, if you enjoy gardening, take a few cuttings of your heartiest plants, plant them in a festive pot with rich soil. Then, tie a bow around the vase and you’ll have a great gift for any occasion.
With this option, feel free to use your imagination. Consider both what you know how to make and what the recipient will enjoy. You don’t have to give the same thing to everyone on your list.
Some creative ideas include:
A decorative wreath made from ribbon and dried flowers.
A picture frame with a photo of you and the recipient.
A knitted scarf.
Homemade personalized note-cards.
3. Used Gifts
There’s no harm in re-gifting if you’re giving something your recipient will love. However, it’s essential to note that whatever you’re re-gifting is in excellent condition.
This also works with great finds from the thrift shop. Go with a shopping list that has all your recipients’ names on it.
You may want to keep your eyes peeled for:
- Appropriate clothing with the tags still on.
- Vintage books in great condition.
- Interesting mugs and vases.
- Fun costume jewelry.
Don’t buy anything for which you don’t have a specific recipient. In other words, you may find a beautiful chess set, but if you don’t have anyone to give it to, then it’s a useless expense.
4. Limit Your Dollar Amount
If you have a large family, get them all together and agree to a dollar amount for each gift. To lower costs even further, pick a name out of a hat. Each person has to buy for only one relative and stick to the assigned dollar amount.
If you exchange gifts with friends and co-workers, suggest a group gift card exchange and make sure to limit the gift card amount. For example, make the gift card limit $5 and then challenge your friends and family to get a card from the most unusual place. Many local stores and salons offer gift cards. Anyone would enjoy a gift card to a salon or gym that they already go to!
Don’t be embarrassed to suggest this to your friends and family. Many people overspend at the holidays and are looking for a way to reign in costs. If you speak up first, others are sure to embrace the idea of economizing.
5. Take a Payday Loan
It’s great to plan ahead for next year, but if you find that you’re in debt from last year’s expenses, consider a short-term loan, like an easy payday loan. Additionally, make sure that the terms of the loan are favorable. If you already have credit card debt, guarantee that your loan will pay it off with a lower interest rate.
If you borrowed from individuals and need to pay them back immediately, then a loan may work for you, as long as you budget for the monthly payments. Budget accordingly so you can afford the loan, especially considering you don’t want to go further into debt.
The same applies if you don’t have any debt, but you decide to take on a loan to pay for holiday expenses. The loan may be short-term, but it will need to be paid regularly and on time.
6. Plan Ahead
The key to managing all expenses is to plan ahead for them. If you have a good working budget that includes all your spending, then you’ll be able to manage without going into debt. Don’t forget that holiday spending includes party expenses, as well as gifts.
Have an Affordable Holiday
Make sure you add in everything when creating your budget. Remember, the holidays should be fun—not stressful and full of debt. By planning ahead and staying within your means throughout the year, you can ensure that the holidays are affordable and that your gifts are still great!
This is a guest post written for cashrange.com by Robert Martin.
Robert Martin is a freelance writer and a financial consultant from Los Angeles, California. With his career spanning over 10 years in the financial industry, he has worked with many prestigious clients and helped them to achieve their financial goals. When he is not busy, he enjoys researching new topics and writing informative articles.