As we countdown to the three biggest holidays of the year you might be taking the time to budget your money as best as you can. There are always unexpected expenses though, like forgetting someone’s birthday is three days before Thanksgiving or realizing you’re now driving to your other relative’s place that is further away than originally planned. Whatever the expense reason is, it is usually something you didn’t budget for.
The following are just a few ways you could overspend during the rest of year without even realizing it and how you can prevent it.
Getting too into the holiday spirit can really take a toll on your light bill. It’s fun to decorate and put up lights, but sometimes homeowners tend to go overboard. Lights, decorations, and a high electricity bill can all add up and cause you to go exceedingly over budget.
Of course you have to get everyone a gift, right? Part of the issue with the holidays is that too often people don’t know when to draw the line when it comes to gift-giving. First it’s your family, then friends, then co-workers, you can’t forget your neighbors, and what about getting your boss a gift? Then there is the babysitter, the mailman, your kid’s teacher, and the list never stops. Overdoing it when it comes to gifts can really bust up your budget. If you would like to give as many gifts as possible you need to prioritize, budget, and in some cases get crafty.
After you’ve spent hours shopping for others, you might want to treat yourself to a few goodies. This is when it is important to decide if you really need something or just want it. Naturally you might want something because it is the holidays and you deserve it! If you’re trying to get rid of debt or stay on budget, re-think how you’re spending your money even if it is on yourself.
Lastly, shopping too much could be dangerous. This is the time of year when you’re supposed to shop but spending all that time in retail stores, malls, even the grocery store could lead to impulse buying. Always go in with a game plan or a list of what you need before you start shopping. Having a list ready can help you meet your goals and prevent overspending.