Whether you’re a post-Halloween or a post-Thanksgiving decorator, it’s hard to deny that the holiday season is upon us. City streets are decorated in glowing lights. Songs of Santa and chestnuts fill the air. And businesses are heavily promoting the hottest gifts of the season.
Even for the thrifty and financially responsible, Christmas time is often one of indulgence. After all, you want to get great presents for the people you love. But uncontrolled spending can come with consequences.
On average, Americans build up over $1000 of debt during Christmas. How does this happen? Well, three-quarters of Americans say they simply failed to budget properly for the holidays.
Does financial responsibility mean that you have to take the “merry” out of your Christmas? No. But you do have to show some restraint and planning, just as you should be doing throughout the rest of the year.
Don’t Spend Money You Don’t Have
This is a principle to live by in all facets of life (with the general exception of buying a home). And yet, while 67% of Americans have budgets throughout most of the year, two-thirds of them don’t budget for the holidays at all.
This is almost guaranteed to result in spending more money than you have. To avoid this, you should be including Christmas time in your overall budget. The best way to do this is to plan and set aside money throughout the year.
Even if you haven’t been doing that throughout the year, you can still form a budget with a hard cap, along with a plan for making up for the added expense.
Consider Getting a Seasonal Job
During the holidays, many places are looking for temporary workers to help with extra workloads. For those who are able, this provides a great opportunity to increase your monthly budget, giving you that extra money needed to purchase gifts.
Focus on More Than Gifts
Monetary gifts are far from the only way to celebrate the holiday season. Instead of buying stuff for the people you care about, try spending some quality time with them. Whether it’s ice-skating, sledding, or watching a classic Christmas movie, let them know you care through action.
Be Honest with Friends and Family
It’s great that you want to get gifts for the people you care about. However, that doesn’t mean you should put yourself into debt. Would you want a loved one to put themselves into debt so they could buy you a fancy gift? Of course not.
If you don’t have the money, you don’t have the money. That’s okay. Simply explain that to your family and close friends. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s better to be honest than reckless.
You can always make it up to them next Christmas by getting better control over your finances and planning ahead. We can help. If you’re looking for a financial adviser in the Springfield, Ohio area, contact KB&P Partners today.
Financial health is the perfect gift to give yourself this holiday season.