Culture & Entertainment

4 ways to stick to a budget over the holidays

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

4 ways to stick to a budget over the holidays

Many people will spend more money during the holidays than at any other time of the year. From gifts for loved ones to social engagements and work commitments, it seems as if December marks an endless stream of spend, spend, spend! Luckily, there are ways to make it through this festive season without breaking the bank. Here are some simple budget-friendly tips to keep in mind while navigating the holidays. 1. Keep a 'nice' list and stick to it while shopping. Visit shopping malls with purpose. Keep a list handy, of all the people you'd like to shop for, and stick to it. If you'd like to take it a step further, outline a budget for each person. Ask yourself, "How much do I want to spend on this person?" and make sure you spend just that much. As you shop, you'll be able to scratch names off the list once you've purchased the gifts, and also know how much money you have left. 2. Don't buy items on impulse. Just because something is on sale that doesn't mean you have to buy it. Think carefully about whether you really need it or whether you want to give it as a gift. The season can be very tempting, especially at shopping malls, where sales are plentiful. Keep rule number one in mind, and shop with purpose. You'll leave with what you need and still remain on budget. 4. Pay it forward and consider regifting. If you've received a gift you don't want, but you know somebody who will enjoy it, consider passing the gift along. It's the perfect opportunity to make someone else happy with something that would probably just be lying around your house anyway. Just follow these eight simple rules for regifting, when you do. Trust me -- this is not a bad thing! (Well, unless you're doing it simply because you feel obligated to give someone a gift. In which case, don't do it.) 5. Shop for gifts throughout the year. It might be a little late now to implement this rule, but make sure you keep it in mind during the year ahead. Stores have multiple sales throughout the year, and those are the perfect times to collect presents for loved ones at a fraction of the cost. All it takes is a little planning. This is also a good idea because you won't be spending a large sum of money all at once. Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com/jokerproproduction
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4 ways to stick to a budget over the holidays

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