(BPT)—All the glitz, glamour, gatherings and good tidings over the holidays can easily make you forget your disposable income has limits.
Who wants to think about overspending when the jingle bells are rocking, the mistletoe is beckoning, peace and goodwill to men abound and the gifts are flowing like sweet, rich hot chocolate?
Fear not. As long as you plan ahead, you should be able to enjoy your fair share of the season’s best offerings without experiencing buyer’s remorse once credit card statements make their appearance.
Think about how these smart steps can keep your celebrations merry but manageable.
1. Think of everything. The costs of decorations, food, drinks, travel and fun events can rack up even faster than gift expenses. Remember to factor in tips, hostess gifts, greeting cards, postage and gas.
2. Divide and conquer. Right now, designate a spending limit for each giftee. Add the total, divide it by three and set aside that amount monthly from now through December. Stash the cash in envelopes labeled with giftee names and amounts, then make like an elf and get shopping.
3. Don’t be bargain-brainwashed. Stay your course and avoid “special offers” unless they happen to fall under your spending plan. They’re not worth blowing your budget over.
4. Give thoughtfully. Shun holiday hype implying gifts must be pricey. Your handcrafted artwork, handmade snack, car detailing or night of babysitting may mean way more than a worthless store-bought gadget.