Just because Christmas season is over doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook for your holiday splurges. Case in point: your credit card standing. I’m willing to bet that a lot of your shiny pieces of plastics are maxed out at this point, if not over the limit. And since we’re all in the middle of paying off this massive chunk of holiday spending, it would do all of us a world of good to know how we can survive the next onset of year-end celebrations. Christmas will always be around the corner of the calendar year finale, but that doesn’t mean we should be unprepared.
Reason for celebration
Before doing any actual steps towards cutting back on holiday splurging, one has to figure out why the heck we’re spending so much time, effort, and – most importantly – money for just a couple of weeks in a whole year. Does the holiday season hold great religious importance to you and yours? Is it a chance to get some well deserved rest and relaxation and, for a lack of a better phrase, ‘a time to treat yo’ self’? Is the importance of the holiday season built around getting together with family and making good memories for the years to come? Or are you in it for the fun and festivities and the abundance of sales? Whatever your reason may be, that will be the foundation of how you will “amortize” the cost of celebrating the holidays.
Create a budget
In all things financial, and most especially in things that require extensive burning of cash, a well-crafted budget is king. First off, you need to make sure that you’re spending well within your finances. A week of holiday extravaganza will never outweigh 51 weeks of slave labour. Know how much you have to spend, what you have to spend it on, and the length of time it will take to build your Christmas fund. Saving up is not the only way to maximize your holiday spending. Taking advantages of off-season sales and My Voucher Codes can make all the difference between spending the holidays like royalty and a financial headache that will follow you till next year.
Necessity > luxury
Always know the difference between necessity and luxury. Too often, we get the two mixed up. And though the spirit of giving that is the holidays is usually the culprit of this blurred line, having the sense to prepare in advance gives us that clarity of thought we usually lack during Christmas season. Food, drink, and activities are unquestionably necessary holiday expenditures. The overpriced authentic Christmas tree and the decorations good for 1 out of 365 days, though, are not. When in doubt, fall back to thrifting, reusing, and DIY. You get to flex your creative muscles all while saving your wallet from an undeserved gutting.
Ah, yes. What holiday would be complete without the act of giving? In this case, tangible gifts often take precedence over anything else. Absence of gifts could be seen as a sign of a cheapskate at best and, in the worst-case scenario, an indicator of indifference. That doesn’t mean that you should blow your hard-earned paycheck to shower all and sundry with gift baskets. Acquaintances and near-strangers have frankly done nothing to deserve a Christmas gift. Service personnel like your cleaning lady and garbage men are compensated by you paying them. Keep your circle small and tight. And keep the gifts few but thoughtful. One personalized gift is worth far more than the generic offerings found at the local department store.