November is here and, before you know it, you’ll be bombarded with holiday ads, commercials and new credit line offers so you’ll have more money to spend during the busy shopping season.
The temptation to spend – especially when creditors offer credit in front of your sparkling eyes – now is the time to stick to your budget; stick to the plan that you set nearly a year ago. Resist the urge to spend and resist the urge to sign up for a new line of credit.
You’ve come so far in creating and setting your budget, now is not the time to blow it. Yes, everyone will have a Merry Christmas, but you’ll regret the spending decisions you make now when the credit card bills come around in January (and, believe me, everyone regrets those big spending decisions when that fat bill – with high interest rates – arrives in the mail).
Suzy Orman calls it the “buy-it-now-bug” saying everyone catches the spending bug now and we start feeling the full effects in January. She advises:
- Use only cash. Challenge yourself to not buy any gift with a credit card.
- Go homemade. Whether it’s baked, knitted, scrap-booked or any other gift that you make yourself, it will feel more meaningful to the recipient and it will keep you away from the spending temptation.
- Check your giving circle. Have a conversation with your family and friends about scaling back with your holiday giving. Who knows? They may have wanted to have the same conversation with you, so break the ice and have that discussion now.
An extra tip is to have a “secret Santa” drawing in your family. Instead of giving gifts to everyone, why not set a budget and everyone has a “secret Santa?” This way, the spending is kept to a minimum and everyone gets to enjoy a special gift.
Resist the urge. Follow the tips mentioned above and stay within your budget. You’ll be happier come January!