How to Stop Overspending at the Holidays

2022-11-25T14:37:27-06:00Personal Finance|

It happens to all of us.

You dive into your holiday shopping with a strict budget in mind and before you know it, you’ve spent far more than you originally expected. But why does it happen? Why, despite our best intentions, do we overspend so readily during the holidays?

In this article, we’ll tell you the most common reasons why holiday overspending is so rampant, and explain ways to prevent it from happening to you this year.

Reason 1: The Stores Are Tricky

When you’re actually shopping in a store, it’s easy to be tempted by your surroundings. That cute wreath is only $19.99 and would look great on the front door. Oooh, that fleece blanket in the clearance section would make a great gift. And surely someone needs new socks…

Suddenly, you’re standing in line with far more than you came in for, and your budget has fallen by the wayside.

The remedy? Shop online to avoid impulse purchases (and compare prices before you buy!). If you do want to go to the store, keep yourself focused and only buy what you set out to buy.

Reason 2: It Can Be Hard to Stop Buying Things for Others

It’s fun to shop for others. When you find a gift that’s perfect for someone, it can be difficult to say no. But if you don’t set limits, you’ll find yourself blowing past your budget with all the best intentions.

Fix this problem by making a list of people for whom you’ll buy gifts, and make a budget for all of those presents. Be stern with yourself about sticking to the budget and adopt a “less is more” philosophy.

Reason 3: The Materialism of the Holidays is a Slippery Slope

It’s easy to get caught up in the spending side of the holiday season, but research has shown that the more you orient your holidays around spending, the less you enjoy the season.

Take some time this year to consider the deeper meaning of the holidays, and think about giving unconventional gifts that don’t involve money alongside your more traditional offerings.

Reason 4: The Holidays Can Be an Emotional Time

Many people feel lonely or sad during this time of year and may overcompensate by overspending. The solution? Think before you buy. Determining why you’re shopping, how you’re feeling at the moment, whether you need to make that purchase, and whether it would be better to wait is a good way to rein in your spending.

It’s also smart to ask yourself how you will pay for the item, and where you’ll put it. Thinking before spending can create the slight delay that might just put you back on the right path.

Reason 5: Waiting Too Late Results in Spending Too Much

When you procrastinate on your holiday shopping, you’re likely to spend too much. In the stores, your selection will be limited, and if you’re shopping online, you may end up wasting a lot of money on expedited shipping. It’s far better to shop early and avoid the mall entirely for the week leading up to a major holiday.

Need help making smart spending decisions over the holiday season? Don’t worry, we have your back.

5 Simple Tips for Smart Holiday Spending

Whether you're shopping online or in the store, keep these tips in mind. Your savings account will thank you for it.

See the Tips