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Sticking to a Budget through the Holidays

October 19, 2018 | By Daniel Dewitt

The holidays are the single hardest time of the year to stay in budget. Between gifts, unpaid vacation days, parties, and hosting relatives, the happiest time of the year can also quickly become the most expensive if you’re not careful.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep expenses down and stay faithful to your budget. Today we’ve gathered a few of our favorites. If you face more severe financial challenges though, we suggest considering taking out payday loans. They’re designed to handle emergencies and bridge the gap between paychecks and give you the tools to get you back on your feet.

Don’t Overspend on Gifts

While it’s good to be generous, there’s such a thing as being too generous. It’s only natural to want to express our love through the gifts we give during the holiday season, but doing so can quickly drain your bank account, doing neither the person you’re giving the gift to or yourself a favor. After all, hopefully the person you’re getting a gift for values your financial solvency over getting an expensive gift.

To counteract the urge to overspend when it comes to gifts, set up a budget to work within. To come up with a reasonable price, think about the total amount of money you’re willing to spend on gifts this year, and then divide that number by the amount of people you’re giving gifts to, and that’s the hard limit you have to work with when shopping for gifts.

It may be tough to stay within that number, but just remember that a thoughtful gift is worth ten times as much as an expensive one to the person you’re giving it to.

Don’t Throw A Bigger Party Than You Need To

While the holiday season is one of merriment and good cheer, that doesn’t mean you should get carried away with the eggnog and plan a huge party. Parties can be deceptively expensive and the guest list can easily explode if you’re not careful. Feeding upwards of twenty people is more expensive than it sounds.

To abrogate cost, you can have a food list and have each of your guests pick something from it to bring so that the cost of food is spread more evenly across everyone at the party. But there’s actually an even simpler way to save money: throw a smaller party. If you stop to really think about it, how many people do you really want to spend the holidays with, and how many do you just feel obligated to?

The holidays are too important a time to dilute with people you don’t truly care for and enjoy, and it’s especially not worth it from a financial perspective. So this holiday season, try throwing smaller, more intimate parties with a guest list curated from just those you value most.