How To: Make Sure You’re Not Overspending While Christmas Shopping Next Year

Start Planning your Holiday Shopping for next year to avoid overspending

Did you end up spending too much holiday shopping this year? It can be easy to overspend when you get caught up in the rush of holiday shopping and end up with hefty credit card bills that you have to carry into January… and February. These tips can help you celebrate the holidays while also spending smart so you can keep your finances in line and start the new year stress-free.

Make a budget and plan

Take a look at your bank account and figure out what you can reasonably spend on gifts this year. Next, make a list of all the people on your shopping list, and allocate a dollar amount that you can spend on each person’s gift. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you can avoid finding unpleasant surprises on your bank and credit card balances later.

Don’t buy into every retail sale

Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you need to buy it. If you can get an item on your shopping list with a coupon code or on a seasonal sale–great! Just remember that if it’s not a “must-buy,” it is probably not a smart use of your money in the long run. Stay strong and stick to your list–your wallet will thank you later.

Make smart swaps

If you’ve whittled your list down and still feel stressed about overspending, think about other ways you could save this month? Could you bring the $10 bottle of wine to the party instead of a $20 one? Do you really need a specialty latte every morning? Could you pop a frozen pizza in the oven instead of ordering Postmates? If you’re planning on spending extra on gifts, travel or other holiday expenses his month, cutting back on the other splurges you’ve built into your routine can help you break even without missing out on your favorite seasonal indulgences.

Get crafty and create some homemade gifts

Do you really need to buy something for everyone on your list? Homemade baked goods or crafty projects can be fun to make and are more personal than gifts from big box stores. Turn on the holiday music and bring out your favorite recipes or hot glue gun and have fun making special treats for people on your list–and saving a few bucks while you do it.

By incorporating these few tips into your holiday shopping next year, you’ll be sure to save yourself some money!