Overspending During the Holidays
Your Spending During the Holidays May Lead to Financial Hardships for the Rest of the Year.
Despite your best efforts not to overspend this year for Christmas—you made lists, you tried to stay on a budget, you fought the crowds for the best deals— by the time the presents, groceries, gift bags, teacher gifts, employee gifts, Christmas picture cards, and stamps are purchased, it all adds up to more than you intended to spend. Yes, we all want to give amazing gifts not to disappoint our family and friends, but that one day of momentary joy could mean guilt and long-term financial worries. Be very careful not to over-spend during the holidays.
According Emily Post, the following people should be given a tip or gifted during the Holiday season: your cleaning person, your hairdresser, your child’s teacher/s, the newspaper carrier, pet care provider/groomer, garbage collector, and babysitter/nanny, and the mail carrier. Whew! No wonder the majority of Americans are stressing about the damage done by spending too much in December. The looming credit card statement coming in January is no way to start off the new year on the right foot. Putting yourself behind the eight ball in January is probably going to lead to financial hardships throughout the year. Multiple poor financial choices may lead to foreclosure, a repossession, or even bankruptcy.
Forbes.com insists that “the best present you can give your family for Christmas is sound finances for the new year.” There are all kinds of reasons that we justify spending more that what we can really afford during the holiday season. Sometime we cave to the seasonal social pressures, temptations, or impulse buying. “Come on! It’s CHRISTMAS!” We tend or rationalize some bad financial decisions during the holidays. Heck, I even rationalize eating my weight in frosted sugar cookies and Christmas goodies because “it’s Christmas!” (And yes, not monetarily, but I AM paying for that at the gym).
If happiness is what you’re after, (could my mom have been right? Money can’t buy happiness?) consider giving your gifts…and I don’t mean the gifts you can pile into a shopping cart. ‘Tis the season to prioritize, be creative, and give, as not to give to the point of financial strain. Make a budget for yourself during the Holidays and stick to it! Going over budget or overspending could lead to dire financial times the rest of the year.
P.S. Another thing that my mother was also right about “it’s the thought that counts” when giving gifts. No need to go broke or go over budget or to come off looking cheap, for that matter, in order to bring someone joy at Christmas time.
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