Holidays often fall into a familiar pattern. Every year you celebrate them, you indulge yourself a little and you try to make sure your friends and family have a great time as well. Invariably, you end up spending a little more than you wanted to, and, invariably, every year you dread January and February because you have to pay for all that holiday extravagance.
Break the cycle this holiday season by making a plan.
Make a budget and stick with it. It’s easier said than done, but you can’t win if you don’t play. At the very least, starting with a budget gives you something to work from and lets you plan out expenses in advance.
Don’t forget the little things. The holidays are more than just gifts, so don’t forget to include small items like gift cards, gift wrap and holiday decorations in your budget. They’re small, but they can add up fast.
Make a list (and check it twice). Try to find one or two ideas within your price range for every person on your list. A list means order, and you’ll want all the order you can get during the chaotic holiday rush.
The early bird gets the sales. The sooner you start your holiday planning, the more sales you can take advantage of. After all, that Columbus Day deal might just be better than anything you’ll find on Black Friday.
This year, instead of treading through the same holiday rut all over again, change things up with some preemptive holiday budgeting. The work you put in now will save you plenty of work (and money) down the road.