Prosperity Amongst Holiday Spending: Reality or Myth?

Merry ChristmasNo one likes to be Scrooge during a time of celebration and festivities unless you are actually Scrooge. But as every person who has more than oneĀ friend in the world knows, when it comes time to show your appreciation and love during the expected gift-giving moments, your pocketbook begins to scream as its contents are unceremoniously yanked out with abandon.

Can you actually save money during the holidays or is this simply a myth? The following are ways to ensure your wallet is not overspent this year.

Decide in advance how much you can spend.

Making a budget sounds as appealing as watching someone else clip their toenails, but being thorough about your finances will only help you in the future.

When drafting your budget don’t forget to include everything including postage for the cards, holiday favors, home decorations and any other items included in the process of holiday celebrations.

Double-check your gift list

After making your budget, write down all the people you intend to buy gifts for and then go through the list again and decide how much you can spend on each person. If you find yourself over-budget, you may need to consider cutting names or amounts. Stick to your budget, no exceptions.

If you have a large family, talk to them about making a “secret Santa”
policy so everyone gets a gift without breaking the bank.

Credit Cards are Short-Term

Despite the reality of credit cards, this option is really the lesser of two options. Go for the ‘cash only’ approach. But if that is simply not possible, using your credit card as a short-term loan is also acceptable. The problem is that it is so easy to lose track and get out of control before realizing it. Choose the card with the lowest interest rate and keep track of how much you spend by recording all the receipts.

Cash Only

Sometimes it is easy to lose track of how much you’ve spent. Rather than poring over your receipts, withdraw cash and keep it in a “holiday” designated envelope. Once the money is gone, it’s over.

Look out for #1

Putting yourself on your shopping list is smart. You know, without a doubt, that impulses run high during the holidays. Account for the splurge up front and budget for it.

Economical Gifts

Are there people who didn’t make your gift list that you still want to express affection and appreciation for? There is always holiday baking being done. Make an extra batch and send it across the street to your neighbor. Offer to babysit, walk the dog, or take an elderly relative on an outing. The cost is negligible, but the gift is priceless.

Another option for friends and family who live far away is to send e-cards. They are free and are a fun way to show you’re thinking of them.

Wedding Plans

If you are planning a wedding for a different season, it is an excellent idea to search for the wedding party dresses during the winter season because it is the slowest time of year for bride apparel and you will often find excellent deals.

Vacations

During this time, resorts and cruise lines are really hurting for business. If you have always dreamed of a luxury getaway, this would be the time. Escape from all the strain and fluster of holiday shopping and have yourself a ‘merry little Christmas “somewhere else”.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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