Holidays typically require planning, from wish lists, shopping lists, baking lists and more. But before all that you'll need to decide up front how much money you can afford to spend on the holidays. You need to rethink giftgiving and consider some creative ways to curb your holiday spending and make it less stressful for you and your family.
You can save money this holiday by spending only what you have in your bank account. When you buy a $20 gift on credit, you're basically telling the credit card company they'll pay them that $20 back plus another 20% in interest each month until the balance is paid off. Unless you're able to pay off the balance you could still be paying for that $20 gift card 30 years from now.
What is the point of giftgiving? It is really not to reciprocate a dollar amount. Instead the point is to acknowledge that another person's positive influence on our life and to say thank you or I love you. You don't have to allow yourself to be caught up in spending more on holiday gifts then you really can afford.
Spend less money by using a holiday planning worksheet to keep track of all the gifts you buyer make and record the amount of money spent on each person. This tool can help you stay within your budget and you enjoy the holidays and the months following.
There are ways to temper demanding kids during the holidays. Consider setting a specific amount dollar wise for each child and staying to it. You can decide also to limit the number of gifts per child. There will always be people who spend more on their kids but don't try to keep up with the Jones.
If you're on a limited budget you can consider making gifts. It can be a fun project for the kids and will help you spend less money during the holidays. Homemade gifts like bread, cookies, candy or fudge are delicious and great ways to say thank you or let someone know that they are special to you. You can also save money by purchasing nearly new items on eBay.com and go in with other relatives to save money also.
By being creative and keeping your mind focused on the real meaning of giftgiving you can keep the cultures "buy more" at bay. Remember that your efforts to curb your holiday spending will free up more cash for the coming year and that's the best holiday gift you can give yourself and kids.