Sticking to A Holiday Budget

Tis the season for over eating and over spending, both of which go hand-in-hand, am I right? First, I stress over the fact that the list of people I need to shop for has increased yet again, so I grab a cookie. Then I realize my budget hasn’t increased enough to support the holly jolly growing list, so I grab a piece of left-over pie from Thanksgiving. Finally, reality sinks in that I will be in debt for most of the following year, so I grab a bottle of wine. I could avoid all this if I planned ahead a little. You know, make a list and check it twice.

First Heritage offers a Holiday Club Savings account that earns dividends and the balance transfers to my checking account automatically on the first of each October. This account allows me to save all year long by setting aside a little from each paycheck. Here are other easy ways to slim down your holiday debt which could, in turn, keep your pant size right where it is… Wishful holiday thinking!

Make a list

I think the big guy was on to something with this one. I have found that if I take the time to write things down, I can stay more organized through out the hectic holiday season. Not only do I make a list of who I need to shop for, but I also keep track of what I have bought. I can trim the list like I trim my Christmas tree, with love and care.

Check it twice

What I mean by this is narrow the list down. Do you need to buy a gift for your best friends’ husband, or can you buy a gift they can both enjoy? This can also be said for extended family. Family gifts could be much cheaper than buying individual gifts.

Get creative

For those family gifts, think of something the family can enjoy together. Buy a big plastic bowl and fill it with movie night goodies such as packets of popcorn, candy, and other treats. How about card games, board games or other game night goodies. Most of these items can be purchased from the dollar store and they can also be turned into gifts for couples, co-workers, and friends.

Homemade gifts can be time consuming but really pull on the heart strings. Christmas tree ornaments, book marks, and even delicious treats can get your loved ones into the holiday spirit. Buying in bulk can make this more affordable then you might think, and a lot of people bake for the holidays anyway. Making a little extra or eating a little less could knock a few people off your list and save your expanding figure.

Don’t be a scrooge

Since you saved all this money you can go back to that list and reconsider your offices secret Santa or even buy yourself something nice. While you’re waiting for Santa to slip down the chimney grab a cup of eggnog, turn on White Christmas, and relax because you managed to create an awesome Christmas for your family and friends without going into debt.

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