Once September hits the holiday season seems to come about quickly. Unfortunately, most people aren’t financially prepared for the festivities. The cost of hosting holiday dinners, decorating the home, and paying for gifts can prove to be a bit too much. In fact, it is this time of year that many people suffer from stress and anxiety and fall deep into debt. If you’re worried about the months ahead and how you’ll survive financially, here are some tips that should really help you out.
Set a Budget
In order to prevent going into too much debt, you need to set a budget. First, write down everything you need to pay for including groceries for dinner, home decor, travel expenses, and gifts. Then, review your receipts from last year to determine an average of what you spend. Now, look at your regular budget. After paying your bills, how much are you able to dedicate to holiday spending? This is the amount you’ll have to work with this year.
Take Out an Advance
Credit card debt seems to multiply quickly around the holidays as everyone is scrounging to afford associated costs. Charging up credit cards, however, ruins your credit, and can be difficult to pay off. An alternative would be to take out a cash advance online. This would give you a lump sum of cash to use but is also a lot more affordable and easier to pay off than your credit cards.
One of the largest expenses that consumers have during the holiday season is gifts. The cost of giving someone you know a gift can be outrageous depending on what you buy. When you multiply that by 10 or even 20 people, you’re looking at several hundred or thousand dollars. A great way to cut the cost of gifts is to make them yourself. It’s a lot more heartfelt and affordable. Whether you crochet a sweater for your mom or make a coffee mug for your aunt, it’s a lot less expensive than purchasing a sweater or mug in the stores.
Set a Gift Limit
Some gifts can’t be made by hand. If you’ve got a kid who wants the latest gaming console, for instance, you’d have a hard time trying to make one from scratch. So, for those you want to purchase gifts for, set a limit. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on each person and don’t go over that.
Bring Your Own Dish
If you’re generally the host for holiday gatherings, you may be overwhelmed with the costs of feeding your friends and family. Instead of taking on all the financial responsibility yourself, you could ask everyone to pitch in. Having each family member bring their own dish leaves less for you to prepare and keeps a few extra bucks in your pocket.
Recycle Decorations and Decor
Having a festive looking house during the holidays is nice, but also costly. If you want to decorate things for your guests, you should start by looking at your old decorations and home decor. Those things you stored from last year are probably still in good condition and can be used to decorate your home this year, perhaps with a creative spin.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time of good cheer and togetherness, but for most adults, it is anything but. If you’re stressed about the upcoming season and how you’ll afford everything, consider the above-mentioned tips. Using them will allow you to have a cheerful holiday season without the stress or debt attached.