How To Avoid Overspending During The Holidays

December 3, 2018  |  
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stack of christmas gifts with stripped ribbon

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The holiday season is in full swing and that means in addition to decorating, family celebrations and festive activities, holiday shopping is the most popular past time. However, since it is the season of giving many people get carried away and find themselves in a world of debt just as the new year begins.

Don’t let this be you. To avoid spending outrageous amounts of money on Christmas gifts, follow our list of tips to ensure that you give your loved ones meaningful gifts this year that don’t break the bank. Happy Shopping!

African American woman buying Christmas gifts online with credit card

Source: Steve Debenport / Getty

African family with adult children drinking champagne. (via Getty)

Stick To Your Budget…No Matter What

This is such an obvious way to save money during the holiday season, but you’d be surprised to know just how many people fail at sticking to their budget this time of year.

You may get caught up in the fun and festive nature of the season and decide to throw budgeting out the window, but that decision will definitely have consequences come January. No matter what, create a set budget and stick to it throughout the whole holiday season. To ensure you stay on track, enlist a loved one to help you keep to your budget before you get out of control.


Couple carrying Christmas gifts outside store

Source: Ariel Skelley / Getty

Take Advantage Of Sales

Sure, the holiday season does encourage you to spend money shopping ’til you drop, but this time of year also means that there are more sales than ever.

Take full advantage of every sale you see, not just those on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You’d be surprised how much they can help you stay on budget and score deals on items that are otherwise very expensive.

Hialing a taxi with smart phone app. Christmas shopping.

Source: Tempura / Getty

Go The Digital Route For Savings

Thanks to the never-ending rise of smartphones and social media, holiday shopping is more convenient than ever before. There are a ton of shopping apps and online coupon codes available to help you save a lot of money while still getting all the things you want and need.

Make a list of your favorite retailers and find out if they have an app, once you download the app you’ll be the first to know of special sales, discounts and online codes. This also applies to social media, follow your favorite retailers on their social media accounts where they often post coupon codes.

Couple with Christmas presents on street, portrait

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Organize Your Shopping List

Writing things down is one of the best ways to stay organized, especially during the hectic holiday season. The easiest way to do this is to write down everyone you plan to shop for and assign a specific dollar amount to each person.

By doing this, you already know who to buy for and what is in your budget to spend, in case you get so caught up you forget. Writing things down on paper is outdated, so compose your shopping list on your phone since it’s likely always in your hand anyway.

Husband Giving a Present to His Wife

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Keep Track Of Everything You Spend

Since we are living in the digital age, keeping track of money you spend is pretty simple. There are several apps available for this exact reason and there is no better time than the holidays to try them out.

Keeping track of every dollar you spend holiday shopping, holds you accountable and acts as a reminder when you are in danger of going over budget…or if you already have.


Family opening Christmas presents together

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Resist The Urge To Buy More Than You Need

Whether you love shopping or not, the holiday season has a way of convincing you to buy much more than you need. Thanks to the endless amounts of inventory, sales and festive decor, it’s hard to resist the temptation to buy one more thing.

To help you, remind yourself that anything extra is wasteful and you really don’t need it. Additionally, if you simply can’t help yourself and continue to buy more than necessary, perhaps try donating those items to those less fortunate.

African American couple opening gift on Christmas morning

Source: Steve Debenport / Getty

Buy One Gift Per Person Instead Of Multiples

For some reason the act of opening multiple gifts seems more exciting than opening just one, but it all depends on what it is. From a budget standpoint, spending your money on one special gift instead of several is the most obvious thing to do, even if you think that more is better.

When you make your gift list, think of the one specific gift for each person, something that they will love and appreciate, and only buy that gift.

Putting Candy on a Gingerbread House

Source: Christopher Futcher / Getty

Embrace DIY Gifts

Way back in the day before the holidays became consumed with commercialism, people made their gifts and they were appreciated just as though they came from a store.

These days the DIY craze is at an all-time high and it’s the most inspiring during the holiday season. Sites like Pinterest are the absolute best way to get ideas to make DIY holiday gifts that are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Opening Gifts Together

Source: Christopher Futcher / Getty

Shop Closer To Christmas

Last minute shopping may get a bad rap, but it is actually pretty cost effective. As we get closer to Christmas, retailers slash the prices of their merchandise more than half, meaning that you can save a whole lot of money by waiting.

Of course the downside to this is that all the good things are picked over, however this isn’t always the case as people return a lot of merchandise before Christmas. You have to ask yourself if your budget is more important this year or buying more in-demand gifts.

Young couple sitting by the Christmas tree, wrapping gifts

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Buy Thoughtful Gifts Instead Of The Most Expensive

Let’s be honest, no one will turn down an expensive gift, but it’s important to understand that those aren’t the only gifts that leave an impression.

Giving a gift that is truly from the heart often means more than if you dropped a couple of bills on diamonds or something designer. Actually look at all the people on your list this year and think of a gift that they will really cherish for years to come.

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