Manage Holiday Expenses with These 10 Quick Tips

By Kaitlyn Ranze
Updated 11/16/23 by Kenneth Medford III

It’s that time of year again! The holidays are upon us, and that means increased spending. If you’re not careful, the holiday season can quickly become a financial nightmare. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you manage holiday expenses.

After all, it is predicted that consumers will spend between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion this holiday season.

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With these tips, you can manage holiday expenses and avoid any financial stresses.

1. Make a spending plan and stick to it.

This is probably the most important tip. Before you start your holiday shopping, sit down and figure out how much money you can realistically spend. Once you have a number in mind, make sure to stick to it. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and overspend. But if you’re mindful of your budget, you can avoid any financial stress later on.

2. Shop around for the best deals.

Don’t just settle for the first price you see. With a little bit of effort, you can usually find better deals elsewhere. Compare prices online and in store, and look for coupons and promo codes that can save you even more money.

3. Avoid using credit cards.

A good rule of thumb for managing holiday expenses is to avoid using credit cards. The interest rates on credit cards are notoriously high, and it’s easy to get caught in a cycle of debt if you’re not careful. If you absolutely must use a credit card, be sure to pay off the balance in full as soon as possible.

4. Make a list of people you need to buy for.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget someone when you’re making your holiday shopping list. To avoid this, make a master list of everyone you need to buy for. That way, you can be sure that you don’t forget anyone and end up overspending.

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5. Get creative with your gifts.

Managing holiday expenses doesn’t have to be hard, even if you’re on a tight budget. This is where you get creative with your gifts. Instead of buying something expensive, try making something yourself or giving a heartfelt gift that doesn’t cost much money. The thoughtfulness of the gift will be much appreciated, and you’ll save yourself some money in the process.

6. Don’t wait until the last minute.

Procrastinating is never a good idea, but it’s especially not wise during the holidays. If you wait until the last minute to do your shopping, you’ll end up spending more money than you need to. Not to mention, the added stress of last-minute shopping is definitely not worth it.

7. Stick to a cash only policy.

If you’re really serious about sticking to your budget, consider using cash only for your holiday shopping. This may seem old-fashioned, but it’s actually a very effective way to stick to a budget. When you’re using cash, you’re much more aware of how much money you’re spending. And when the cash is gone, you know it’s time to stop shopping.

8. Give experiences, not things.

Instead of giving physical gifts that will eventually end up in the landfill, give experiences that will create lasting memories. Tickets to a show, a day at the spa, or even a simple lunch date are all great ideas. Not only will the recipient appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gift, but you’ll also save yourself some money in the process. You get to be the talk of the town and continue managing your holiday expense.

9. Shop online.

If you’re really looking to save money, do your holiday shopping online. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and buy things you don’t really need with so much holiday cheer. Whether online or in person, take your time and really think about each purchase. This can help you avoid the perils of online impulse purchases.

10. Don’t forget the wrapping paper.

This may seem like a small expense, but it can really add up. If you’re looking to save money, try using recycled materials for your wrapping paper. Brown paper bags, newspapers, and even old maps make great wrapping paper alternatives. And your gifts will look just as beautiful as if they were wrapped in store-bought paper.

Save more and stress less by managing holiday expenses

If you’re like most people, the holidays are a time when your spending tends to go through the roof. Gifts, travel, parties – it all adds up quickly and can leave you feeling stressed and broke come January. But it doesn’t have to be that way! By following these quick tips for managing your expenses, you can save more and stress less during the holiday season.

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