The overflowing expectations around the holidays can entice us to spend more than we can afford. Not only do we have bills to face once the decorations are put away, but 43% of respondents to an Experian survey say extra expenses also make the holidays hard to enjoy.
Now’s the time to plan so your December spirit doesn’t lead to January bills. We asked five experts on frugality what they do to avoid holiday overspending.
Donna Freedman, author of “Your Playbook for Tough Times,” says you need to recognize your spending triggers. Are you trying to make the holidays more magical for your family? Can you resist anything but a great a deal? Knowing what drives your spending can help you stop. Here’s what she recommends:
For Tiffany Aliche, aka “The Budgetnista,” step one is making a list of whom you plan to give to and how much you plan to spend. Make sure your gift budget fits into an overall holiday budget that accounts for shipping, decorations, food, travel and entertainment. Her top tips:
The blogger who writes under the pseudonym Mrs. Frugalwoods says her family’s frugality is “larger than the holidays.” She notes that while the season is “wonderful and it’s fun, it’s not an excuse to dip into your emergency fund.” Her tips:
Mary Hunt, the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” blogs at Everyday Cheapskate. She says it’s important to understand that your credit limit is not a license to spend. Try these instead:
Having a plan is central to being thrifty, says Gary Foreman, founder ofThe Dollar Stretcher. “If you don’t have a plan, you’ll overspend,” he says, noting that some people don’t finish paying for Christmas until April or May. His tips:
The article 5 Frugality Pros Help You Rein In Holiday Spending originally appeared on NerdWallet.