How to Survive the Holidays Without Going Broke
'Tis the season to dig a little deeper and share in the spirit of giving – and no one is going to let you forget it! Everywhere you go, you're faced with another gift to buy or a charity to support. Giving is a wonderful thing if your intentions are in the right place. And when your intentions are in the right place, a little wisdom will help keep your finances in the right place, as well.
Have a Plan - Many people go shopping without a plan, which causes them to spend more. Don't let yourself get trapped in the shopping bonanza just because everyone else is doing it. It will be easy to justify overspending in the next few weeks because it's a gift. The "giving bliss" could turn into a "giving miss" if you fall into this trap and end up with an empty wallet in January.
The first thing you need to do is look at your budget and see what you can afford to purchase. Make a list including the names and amounts you are going to spend on each person or charity. Once your list is finalized, the only way to make it work is to actually stick to it.
Pay Cash - Don't use plastic.
Don't Buy Yourself Anything - Avoid what 60 percent of Americans did last year when they went out shopping with a big giving heart. While they were out, 7 out of 10 Americans made purchases for themselves.
Buy Less And Give People Gifts That Don't Cost Money – Why not try giving gifts that don't cost money but may mean more to the recipient? For example, a father can fill out a coupon to take his daughter out on a date during the year. Kids can give coupons to do the dishes six times during the year when they haven’t been required to do so. Love does not spell money. It is spelled T-I-M-E!
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