By Evan Vitale
Soon, the holiday months will be upon us with many opportunities to get together with family and friends and enjoy the seasons.
Unfortunately, the holidays can also mean spending temptations and the urge to buy decorations, gifts, food, etc. It is very easy to get caught up in the spirit only to face the dreaded credit card statements come January.
So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to stay within your budget and don’t overspend:
– Halloween is becoming one of the largest “spending” holidays of the year as many adults are now participating in decorating and parties. You can still become part of the fun and stay within your means. Always use what you have on hand for decorating and costumes.
– Thanksgiving meals can sometimes be expensive if you want to host a family dinner. If so, you can stay within your budget by having each guest bring an item (i.e., a pitch-in).
– Black Friday shopping, which now actually starts on Thanksgiving, is a huge temptation. Yes, you can save money by shopping for specific gifts, but you need to make sure that the items you want to purchase are indeed a bargain. Stick to a budget. Don’t buy more just because you’re saving money.
One of the big ways to save on gift purchases for the holidays is to seek out and use layaway plans. Big box stores such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc. are currently offering layaway opportunities that allow you to make purchases and follow a payment plan. The store will hold your items until your balance is paid in full (usually around December 21).
Layaway plans are good as long as you make the scheduled payment and you avoid additional gift purchases along the way.
Think smart during the upcoming holidays. Don’t over-spend or over-extend.