If you’re looking for ways to avoid overspending this holiday season, you’re not alone: a recent Investopedia report stated that almost half of Americans plan to drop at least $1,000 on gifts this year. That is a huge amount of money considering the average American household carries over $8,000 in credit card debt.
The below money-saving tips can help you avoid whipping out the credit cards this holiday season and finding yourself buried in debt in the new year.
- Put aside money for holiday spending in advance: create a rule-based savings account using an app like Qapital, which links to your online bank account and makes automated savings easy.
- Place limits on what you spend: decide on an overall amount for the entire season and then set amounts for each individual item you need to purchase.
- Consider homemade gifts: baking and other DYI projects all make great presents. If that’s not something you can do, think about donating your services. Perhaps you have design or photography skills that one of your friends can use. Or maybe your grandmother needs someone to clean her home, get creative with it.
- Limit who you spend your money on: you don’t need to buy a gift for everyone you know, even if they give one to you. If that feels too Scrooge for you, then suggest that the group of people you usually exchange gifts with each pick one name this year.
- Instead of spending money throwing a lavish holiday party, get your friends and family together for a virtual meet-up.
- To curb impulse shopping, avoid aimlessly wandering through the malls and shops: make a list of who you need to buy for and what you want to get them, and then only go where you need to purchase those items.
- Take a hiatus on eating out: look over your bank statement to see how much you’re spending at restaurants each week and put that money towards holiday spending instead.