We find ourselves in the time of year when our focus is mainly on shopping and spending money, whether it’s on gifts, party items, or big meals. Every time you turn on the TV or radio, check email, or log into any website, it seems like you are blasted with ads from every vendor, retailer, restaurant, and service provider imaginable about how they want to help you save money.
As we get deeper into the holiday season, it’s important to do the best you can to maintain a budget. In addition to your regular monthly budget, make a plan for how much you can spend for holiday extras. When you get ready for your shopping trips, make lists and stick to them. You can be a little flexible, though- if you find a better deal, go with it! And just because you spend a little less on one item, that doesn’t mean that you should spend that savings on extras that you hadn’t planned on. Above all, avoid using credit for items that you can’t afford. Remember that you will end up paying more for those items over time because of added interest.
So, cut yourself a little slack now so that your Resolutions list- and your credit card bill!- is a little lighter in January! While shopping for others, try to remember to continue working towards giving yourself the gift of financial freedom.