5 Practical Tips to Avoid Budget Blunders

In keeping with our 25 Ways to Lift Your Spirits, our contributing writer, G. Sharp has compiled 5 Secrets from the Best Christmas Givers. Keep these in mind next year to prevent budget blunders!

-Antoinette R. Banks, Editor in Chief

5 Secrets from the Best Christmas Givers

1. Start a Christmas Savings Account

Enjoy the beauty of Christmas without the pressure to go into debt by saving a little toward the holiday throughout the year.  If you didn’t have a savings this year, then start now for next year.  If you need some help, some credit unions and banks offer Christmas Savings Accounts that let you decide on an amount to contribute during the months of January to October.  In November you’ll get a check to cover all your holiday expenses and gift giving.  Imagine, putting away $50 a month beginning in January would mean next November you’d have a check for $500 – A great step toward a stress-free Christmas.

2. Be Intentional

As you’re preparing to give, take a moment to refocus on the reason for your giving. Focus more on showing your appreciation for the person, and resist the urge to think that the best gifts always have a large price tag. Be intentional in your giving by thinking about those you’d like to bless. Honor them with gifts that express their uniqueness and what you know about them and you’re on your way to being a master giver.

3. Have a Plan

In most things a little planning goes a long way and giving is no different.  Taking the time to make your list, research items online and prepare a budget before you head to the mall can help you save both time and money, so don’t skip this step.

4. Pay Cash

It’s much easier to overspend with credit because you don’t see the money leaving your hands.  When you’re purchasing with cash you’ll make better decisions because we innately have more of an emotional experience when our hard-earned cash leaves our hands.  So leave the credit cards at home and then you’ll know when the cash is gone, you’re finished shopping.

5. Limit your Shopping to One Day

Once you’ve completed steps 1 – 4, all that’s left is to go shopping.  Consider planning to devote one day to completing all your shopping.  This way you’ll avoid impulse buying.  Multiple trips to stores increase the likelihood that you’ll find more reasons to bust the budget.  With steps 1 – 4 in place, step 5 should be a breeze

 

Written and Illustrated by G. Sharp