The hottest word in the financial news for the year has been inflation. Your wallet may be feeling a bit tighter than in years past and the holiday season is right around the corner. As you plan out your season of giving, keep the following things in mind to prevent overspending.
Make a List and Check it Twice
Who will you be purchasing gifts for? What gifts will you get them?
You won’t be compared to Ebenezer Scrooge if you set a spending limit. Often times, if you have a gift exchange, others may be wanting to reign in the price limit too. If you’re setting boundaries and implementing a spending limit, let your family and friends know your plans. They may be relieved and in turn won’t feel obligated to overspend within their own budgets as well.
Keeping a list of who you are buying for and what gift you’ve purchased will also ensure you don’t double purchase.
Avoid last minute shopping
It should come as no surprise that as a financial planner I’m recommending you plan ahead. Planning for the long-term goal of retirement has the same basic principals as planning for the short-term. Making small incremental steps between now and your end goal will have a massive impact on your budget. Start getting gifts now (while looking for a deal or two), relax and enjoy your eggnog and gingerbread later. Don’t let the ghost of Christmas Present become the Ghost of Christmas Past that will continue to haunt you.
If you’ve seen Die Hard 2 (a classic family friendly Christmas movie), you know how hard last minute traveling can be. While your trip through the airport shouldn’t be as life threatening as Bruce Willis’, you can bet that purchasing flights, getting hotel reservations and car rentals will be more expensive this year. The closer you get to the holidays the more expensive those costs will get. It might even be easier for you to stay Ho-Ho-Home.