Don't Go Crazy With Money This Christmas
Most of us overspend during the holiday season and regret it later. This year, curb your holiday spending with these helpful tips and tricks.
"This is a very difficult time of the year to stick to a budget, and the reasons are numerous and complex," says Leslie Greenman, a financial advisor and author of the new book Dating Our Money: A Women's Guide to Confidence with Money & Men. "One of the biggest reasons is that women tend to be givers and pleasers by nature. We want to buy great gifts for friends and family members. We want to get the best-looking decorations for the house. We convince ourselves it's OK to overspend because Christmas only comes once a year."
Set a budget and stick to it
Be realistic about your holiday budget. Look at your family's financial situation and realize how much debt you'll be dealing with in the new year. If your financial picture doesn't look good, consider making some gifts, regifting unused gift cards and otherwise scaling back your shopping list. Shop with cash only, and don't stray from your list or your budget.
Invest in relationships, not in stuff
Don't shop for yourself
The average person will spend $130 on herself while holiday shopping, according to the National Retail Federation's 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. When you're making it OK for yourself to do a lot of spending, it can be difficult not to stray off your list and buy a couple of things for yourself. Instead of buying a new outfit for your next holiday party, evaluate what's in your closet already and pick up some cheap accessories for a quick and inexpensive upgrade. You also can hold a clothing swap with your friends, trading outfits and getting a new look without spending anything at all.
More holiday shopping tips