I love this time of year. The wind up to the Christmas holiday is my favorite time. The festive decorations, the food, the movies and music. It brings great memories to mind. It can also be a time of stress for a lot of people. For many, the stress of the budget is first and foremost. The good news is that you can save money this holiday season by not making these mistakes that can end up costing a lot and breaking the budget.
Christmas Holiday Mistakes to Avoid to Save Money
* Not Preparing Your Lists *
It may seem like you can remember it all, but honestly taking the time to plan out exactly what you need for your meals and holiday gifts will end up saving you money in the long run. How many times have you run to the store for last minute items for the meal or a forgotten gift? Last minute items end up costing more since you were not able to find discounts or just the right gift for the certain someone. Start your lists today and pick up things ahead of time as you go.
* Not Having a Budget for the Christmas Season *
While you are making your lists, plan out your budget and see how you can adjust for the holiday meal and gift giving you are planning. That will give you time to plan and adjust your shopping to your budget.
* Relying on Credit *
It is so easy to rely on credit for the holiday but it does cost you a lot in the long run. When the bills come in January, you will be struggling to make additional payments, not to mention the amount of interest it will cost you until you can manage to pay it all off. You do not have to buy gifts to impress. Get creative and stay away from credit, if you can.
* Not Shopping for Deals *
My Dad was always a last minute Christmas Eve shopper and he always ended up paying more than he should have for gifts. Planning ahead will allow you to shop around, find discounts and coupons and spread your shopping through many paychecks, not all lumped together.
* Not Planning for Next Christmas *
It is easy to say, but even putting away $10 a week, starting now, into a holiday fund will help you so much next year. I used to have a Christmas account and every week I put $20 in it. I loved getting that $1000 payout in November. It allowed me to buy a airline ticket home and have a wonderful holiday. I opened one yesterday as I was writing this post because I realize it is easier to save money when you do not even see it! I should have done it years ago so I can have a more stress-free holiday next year.
What mistakes have you made during the holidays that have cost you money? Share your experiences!