It’s the Christmas season once again. For a country with more than 80% of the population predominantly Catholic, it is not at all surprising that Christmas is the most celebrated holiday for Filipinos. Unfortunately, Christmas is also that time of the year that we just toss away or budget without thinking of the consequences.
No other nation celebrates Christmas like us Filipinos.
To avoid spending the coming year with piles of debt, here are a few tips on how to avoid overspending this Christmas:
1. Set up a Christmas budget and stick to it.
First of all, you should have had created a plan even before the Christmas season even began. Plan o how much you can afford to spend on gifts, food, events, travel, decorations, clothing, etc. Once you have it, by all means stick to it. Don’t be tempted to buy a more expensive gift to your loved one just because it’s Christmas. If it is way above your budget, it simply means you cannot afford it.
2. Track your spending.
The easiest way to make sure you are spending within your budget is to track your expenses. Write down everything you are spending on a daily basis. Just record all the items you have spent and compare them to your budget. Do this on a daily basis. It will take some time and effort on your part but it will serve as a reminder to help you stay on track.
3. Be creative with your gift giving.
You don’t need to spend a fortune for your gifts. Be creative. Give them something handmade or cook for them. It is kind of cliche but it’s the thought that counts. What is important is that you remember them on this holiday season.
4. Look for Deals.
Most stores over holidays deals this Christmas season. Buy these items because they are normally offered on discounted rates.
5. Pay cash.
Never ever use your credit card if you think you won’t be able to pay the full amount due on January. Instead, always pay cash so as to not get carried away with your purchases. Don’t be a victim of paying more than your actual purchase by paying fees and interests in your credit card.
6. Don’t overspend on yourself.
Once you are done with your Christmas shopping, go home. Don’t expose yourself to temptation by lingering on the store. The displays are there to lure you into buying them. By going home, you are preventing yourself from buying unnecessary things.
7. Entertain for less.
If you plan on hosting a Christmas party, skip those costly dinner parties by telling your guests to do potluck. Don’t put the burden of preparing for all the food yourself.
8. Get better deals after Christmas.
If you can postpone giving yourself or even other people a gift after Christmas, then by all means do so. Stores normally start selling items on discounts the day after Christmas because they need to clear their inventory for new ones for the coming year. By shopping after the holidays, you will get larger discounts for the items that you want.