Visiting any mall in Toronto during the month of December is an overwhelming experience. There are the Christmas carols, the Christmas decorations, and the line-up to see Santa. It all affects the way you shop. Everything from store signage to last-minute deals are carefully designed to make you feel compelled to open your wallet and spoil everyone on your list. It’s hard to escape the holiday season without overdoing it, but when you’re on a budget, it’s imperative that you do. If you’re struggling to find the moral fortitude to avoid spending this holiday, keep reading. Here are some simple tips to keep your spending in check.
When it comes to the holidays, you’d very much rather sip your eggnog and pretend the money talk doesn’t exist, but this avoidance is a danger to your budget. If things are tight around this time of year, you need to talk with your family, so everyone understands the expectations around the season.
Tell your family that you aren’t up to celebrating with lavish gifts this year. Offer alternatives in place of presents, like giving homemade gifts, visiting the Christmas Market, or starting a modest Secret Santa exchange. Handmade items are often cheaper than anything you can find in Toronto-based stores, and an exchange will limit the number of presents you’ll have to make or buy. In many cases, your family will appreciate your honesty.
Don’t forget to let your kids in on the discussion, too. While they may not need to know the specifics of your finances, you should let them know this year’s celebration will be smaller.
The holidays roll around every December, so why are you surprised by them every time they arrive? It’s time you start treating the holidays like any regular expense you budget for in your plan. Treat it like a bill with a hard-due date. Start by putting some money aside each week as early in the year as you can. When you give yourself several months to stockpile cash, you won’t have to adjust your weekly habits too much to accommodate the holidays. It could be as easy as cutting out takeout once a week, or holding off upgrading to the iPhone X for another year.
If you’re able to save enough cash for presents throughout the year, then you can avoid buying under pressure at crunch time. You’ll be able to take advantage of sales earlier in the year, and you won’t have to vie for space in the busy malls come December.
Know when you’re beat
Despite your best intentions, sometimes you lose the nerve to discuss money with your family or you forget to plan for the holidays early. If it’s too late to fix these mistakes this year, shelve this strategy for next year and focus on the finances at hand.
Whether it’s too many gifts left under the tree for your kids or an unavoidable house repair, things will come up over the holidays that you’ll have trouble paying on your own. If you find yourself struggling to make merry facing a bill or repair after you’ve already used up your cash, type payday loans Toronto into Google for help. The search engine will help you find local financing options. As a payday advance, this kind of assistance is ideal for minor financial slip-ups like splurging on the holidays, so you can get out of debt fast.
The bottom line?
Your bank account might not be ready for the holiday, but neither is your fridge until you fill it with groceries. It takes meal plans, lists, and grocery shopping to make sure you’re ready to play host during the holiday feast. Your finances need the same organization. Talk it over with your family and plan ahead. These are just some of the ways you cut down on the cost of the season.