Do you need help to avoid overspending during this year’s festive season? If so, read on, we’ve got some great tips for you.
Hints & Tips to Avoid Overspending This Year
While it’s a time for joy and celebration, the festive season can also be a period when overspending can quickly spiral out of control. To ensure that you don’t start the new year with a mountain of debt, it’s essential to plan and budget wisely.
(TLDR: see the condensed version here)
The Nitty Gritty of How to Avoid Overspending
Create a Budget
Start by outlining your expected income and expenses for the holiday season. Allocate a specific amount for gifts, decorations, travel, and entertainment. Stick to this budget religiously to avoid overspending.
Make a Gift List
Instead of buying gifts on impulse, make a list of the people you want to buy presents for and set a spending limit for each person. This will help you avoid last-minute, expensive purchases. Use Pinterest boards throughout the year to save ideas as and when you see them. This can greatly help with your planning.
Plan DIY Gifts
Personalised, homemade gifts can be meaningful and budget-friendly. Consider baking cookies, crafting handmade cards, or creating custom photo albums, to show your loved ones that you care without overspending.
Shop Early – One of the Best Ways to Avoid Overspending
Avoid the holiday rush by starting your shopping early. Retailers often offer discounts and promotions well before the holiday season, giving you a chance to snag deals and save money.
Use Cash or Debit Cards
Leave your credit cards at home and use cash or debit cards for holiday shopping. This will prevent you from accumulating credit card debt and help you stay within your budget.
Set Up a Separate Savings Account
Throughout the year, set aside a small amount of money each month in a dedicated holiday savings account. When the festive season arrives, you’ll have a tidy sum to cover your expenses without resorting to credit.
Compare Prices – This Can Really Help You Avoid Overspending
Before making any purchases, shop around and compare prices online and in-store. You may find better deals, discounts, or cashback offers that can save you money.
Secret Santa or Gift Exchanges
Instead of buying gifts for everyone in a large group, consider organising a Secret Santa or gift exchange. This way, you only need to buy one thoughtful gift, reducing your overall spending.
Limit Social Events
It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of holiday parties and gatherings. Choose a few meaningful events to attend and politely decline the rest to save on travel, food, and gift expenses.
Another idea is for you and your friends to host parties at each others’ houses. If money is really tight, consider holding a ‘bring a plate’ party, where each person brings one plate/dish of food or some drinks. All you need to do is decide between yourselves who is bringing what, so you don’t end up with duplicates. This is such a great cost-saving idea, as you’re only paying for one item of food or drink.
Focus on Experiences Not Things to Avoid Overspending
The holiday season is about creating memories, not accumulating stuff. Consider gifting experiences like cooking classes, spa days, or concert tickets, which can be more meaningful than material gifts.
Another idea is to offer an exchange of time as a gift. For example, offer an hour or two to help with laundry or ironing, or babysitting for an evening, cleaning, decluttering etc – the options are infinite. Sometimes all a person needs is a little help, rather than an expensive gift or something that’s just going to clutter their home.
We hope that by following these tips and staying disciplined, you can enjoy the festive season without overspending and then start the new year on a financially sound note. There are some great books available about reducing spending and/or spending intentionally. One recommended by Gill is Minimalist Budget: Simple Strategies On How To Save More, Spend Less, And Curb Spending Temptation, which goes into detail on why people are compulsive spenders/shopaholics, and having a ‘poverty mindset’.
Remember, it’s time spent with loved ones, or doing the things you love, that truly matter – not the extravagance of your gifts or decorations.
We are not financial advisors, so if you’re struggling with debts, or your money in general, please speak to a qualified financial advisor, bank, Citizen’s Advice (UK), or a debt counsellor. There is also lots of help available online, just remember to do your due diligence.
As always, please see our disclaimers regarding our use of affiliate links and how this may affect you.