During the holidays, it is easy to over spend. You get in a sense of mind of giving to others and get carried away. For instance, last year I went shopping for my soon to be husband. I wasn’t trying to impress him or anything along those lines; however, every time I would go in the store, I would see something I thought he would love. So I bought it, forgetting about the limit I set for myself. I felt bad once I saw how much we were in the hole but I also learned a valuable lesson. It isn’t all the things you buy for someone that matters. It is about what is behind your heart that truly counts. So this year, in order to make sure that I didn’t have a repeat of the year before, I came up with some simple tips for myself.
- When shopping for gifts, get some cash out from the bank. Having cash will help you stay aware of what you have left to spend. Make sure to make it the first thing you see in your wallet. It is easy to swipe a debit card or credit card and not pay attention to the amount you have already spent. We often times forget about taxes as we spend money. Taxes add up and if you use a debit card instead of cash, it makes it that much easier to forget how much you’ve spent.
- Leave your debit card or credit card at home. If you don’t have it with you, the temptation to spend will no longer be there. If you want, your bank or credit union have an option to freeze your card for you. Just call them up and tell them you would like to freeze the funds for a day. That way, if you try and call the bank to get the funds released, it will give you time to think before you tell them to take the hold off.
- If you are really worried about spending money or don’t have enough money to buy gifts this year, make something from the materials you have at home. Maybe make a coupon book. I know it is cheesy but doing things for the ones you love is often times the best gift to give.
Just remember that it isn’t about how much you spend or how many gifts you’ve given to someone. What matters is it came from the heart.