Don't break the bank - strategies to survive holiday spending
The holidays are my favorite time of year - a chance to catch up with family and friends. And of course there is the shopping. While many people are still shopping in stores, many have chosen to avoid the crowds and do it all on-line. No matter where you shop, it is pretty easy to get caught up in the spirit - and the sales - and spend more than you intend.
There is an abundance of advice in newspapers and on-line on how to keep from overspending on the holiday. I did a look and have tried to compile a few tips from some of the most helpful that I found.
Columnist Erin Huffstetier, in her column "How to budget holiday spending" gives a nifty spreadsheet to work with to help track your spending. She suggests setting spending limits, but allow for some flexibility. You can make adjustments in other areas to accommodate your over expenditure in another area.
Anne Donnohue, in her piece for Canadian Living entitled "6 tips for easy holiday budgeting" lists some suggestions by financial guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade, which include such things as trying to buy ahead of time, not buying presents for yourself, and sometimes even re gifting. Having a list and sticking with it is key to keeping on budget.
The Investor Education Fund website - getsmarteraboutmoney.ca gives 10 tips to keep holiday shopping in check. This list includes things such as hunting for sales, paying cash for your purchases, and if you have to use a credit card, pay it off as soon as possible.
And there are always books to help with your budgeting - not just for the holidays - but through the year as well.