How to Do the Holidays Without Busting Your Budget

The following YouTube video is from Money Talks News.

For those of us who celebrate during the holidays, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year…until we get our credit card statement! While the joy of gift-giving is hard to beat, the weight of post-holiday debt is something most of us dread about as much as having a root canal.

Fortunately staying on a budget during the holidays is a lot simpler than most people realize. It just requires a little planning and some good old-fashioned discipline. What are some effective ways to stay on budget?

  • Make a budget – This may sound rather basic, but it’s the number one reason why people go into debt during the holidays. They fail to tell themselves how much they want to spend before spending it. Easy fix – decide on the amount you want to spend, allocate a portion to each person on your list, and then give yourself a high five for staying on track!
  • Stop before you shop – Before breaking out the plastic or hard earned cash to purchase gifts for your loved ones, take inventory of what you already have. Are there items that can be re-gifted, gift cards laying around that you can use to purchase new gifts, or credit card points you can use to shop with?
  • Track your expenses – As you shop, be sure to track your expenses in real time. There are a handful of really good free websites and apps that can be used to see where you stand with your budget at any given moment.
  • Start your shopping early – Those who begin their shopping early give themselves the greatest chance to find the best deals. Avoiding the last-minute rush allows you to formulate a plan, remain patient, and make purchases at the ideal time.
  • Memorable does not equal Money – Use your imagination to come up with some heart-inspired creations. People usually remember the meaning and thought behind a gift more than the gift itself.

Remember, these simple tips will go a long way towards keeping the holiday spirit alive while also keeping your budget on track. So make your list, check it twice, and enjoy a holiday season filled with joy, not debt!

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About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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