Christmas is usually the time people decide to go big. Whether it’s throwing a party or buying that thing you’ve always wanted, money is one thing that tends to get thrown around a lot. That said, a good mix of peer pressure or mismanagement of funds can leave you down in a slump at the start of the next year. So let’s bring back the basics of money management while also saving room for that fancy Christmas dessert with our list of tips on how to stay on track this Christmas season.
#1 Planning Ahead the Right Way
The saying goes “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”, and the same is true for your Christmas budget. The first mistake people make is going head-on without a plan, and whoever doesn’t make that mistake usually goes with the first wrong solution: setting up a budget for “projected income”. The key here is to budget the way you usually would and only consider your spending money once it’s actually in your accounts instead of spending them before you receive them.
#2 Running a Cash Flow
Just like #1, only work with income as you get it. But more specifically, try doing a running balance of the cash at key points when you would be receiving your income. This way you’re prepared to make decisions on your spending since you’ll have a good idea of how much money you actually have at any given point.
#3 Make Room For Savings and Set a Spending Limit
A spending limit is critical to making sure you don’t exceed your actual and projected budget. Further to that, having savings in mind serves a dual purpose: first, you can continue to save into the next year, and; second, it can serve as a last-ditch contingency when some of your planned costs end up being more expensive than what you expected.
#4 A Priority Shopping List
We all have a wishlist, but not everything on the list might be achievable in one go. It’s good to decide ahead on which things are more important to you to include in your budget first and set up a hierarchy in cases where some items may be unavailable.
#5 Promos and Discounts
Christmas doesn’t always have to be about spending really big on stuff. Trying to find good deals can help maximize your budget and make for a happier Christmas. Besides looking for major sales in malls, it’s also worth considering online sales or apps from the various brands for your wishlist items. Some deals will be better than others.
There you have it, some great ways to stay in budget during and after the Christmas season. Happy holidays, fam!