Santa Claus may be magic and have a seemingly unlimited budget, but his elves know that making Christmas magic can cost more than just being good all year long.
You don’t have to have a pile of presents under the tree to make a memorable holiday, but it’s still a time where expenses can add up.
Here are five ways parents can avoid financial trouble at Christmas time:
- Start saving now! Open a dedicated savings account and start putting a little of every paycheck into it, from now until after Christmas. Even if there’s not enough to pay for everything you buy, having some funds in reserve will make things easier come January.
- Create a realistic budget. Add up the things you want to purchase and compare them to your ability to pay for them. Prioritize your purchases and include things like food and travel expenses, too.
- Don’t spend on credit. It’s easy to swipe the plastic for that oversized gift but digging yourself a hole now will only delay your financial success in the New Year.
- Don’t delay. Buying things at the last minute creates panic and usually makes you overspend. Purchasing within your spending plan and a little at a time will help you better manage your holiday planning.
- Know when you’re done. Some of us who love getting into the Christmas spirit also have a tendency to “just get one more.” By sticking to your buying and budget plan, you’ll be less likely to go overboard and spend on things you won’t remember by New Year’s Eve.
And we could all use an easier year ahead!
Joe Tedesco is President & CEO of Ocean Financial Federal Credit Union, located in Oceanside, NY