It’s really amazing how so many people handle their finances with discipline for most of the year, only to let things completely fall apart when the holidays arrive. Part of the reason is that we spend a lot more time in stores during these months.
During the holidays, shopping becomes almost recreational, where you buy things on sale that you wouldn’t even consider any other time of year. Shopping may start out as buying for others, but the rush of activity may soon turn the focus on yourself if you are not careful.
Spending on yourself isn’t a bad thing, but there is a problem when it comes to buying things you didn’t plan for, whether it be for yourself or for others. Make sure you first find out how much you are able to spend on holiday shopping, then make a list of what you want to buy for yourself and your loved ones. As you buy for someone on your list, subtract that amount from your budget and keep track of every dollar spent.
There is no hard set rule as to what is an appropriate amount to spend during the holidays. When it comes down to it, just make sure you spend what you can afford. After all, a January budget hangover is no way to bring in the new year.