The holidays are almost upon us, which means it’s time to put down that warm cup of cider, bust open that piggy bank and start buying presents for your loved ones, right?
Though it’s tempting to overspend during the holiday season, it’s absolutely unnecessary. And if you run your own business? It’s just not a good way to start your next fiscal year. Sure, you tell yourself that you’ll only buy one small gift per person, but before you know it everyone on your list has a main present, a side present, and a fleet of over-priced stocking stuffers. Meanwhile, you’re watching your bank account vanish and eating your anxiety in the form of pumpkin pie. Think about that dream vacation, that mortgage and that college fund!
Keep your eye on the prize
My Money Matters author and CreativeLive instructor Galia Gichon recommends keeping your purchases simple and keeping your eye on the prize. If that prize is a down payment, print out a picture of your dream home, carry it in your wallet, and whip it out when you have an “impulse to spend!”
Of course, you should also limit superfluous spending as much as you can. If you’re tempted by those irresistible stocking stuffers at the checkout counter, Galia suggests popping open a book while waiting in line, and distracting yourself so you won’t spend money on trinkets you don’t need. A few bucks here and there might not seem like much, but it definitely adds up over time.
Have a cash-only policy
Another way to limit spending is by using cash. Take out the exact amount of money you’re comfortable spending and don’t go one cent over during your shopping excursion. You might be itching to buy that $10 tube of lipgloss, but if you only have $7 left, it’s a no-go.
Shop with a thrifty friend
Need more tips? Galia says shopping with a thrifty friend can help you stay on budget (power in numbers!), hitting stores right before closing time will prevent falling into the trap of “browsing,” and waiting to buy things for yourself until the holiday season is over will save major money. Chances are you’ll have either forgotten that you want the item, or it will be on sale!