While the festive season does by necessity come with extra expenses, and it is all good to have fun and take a break with friends and family, do so with a plan. Otherwise, it could mean starting the year with financial hangovers rather than solid ground that will enable you move forward towards financial stability. Staying stuck on the same spot and trying to recover from the last year's mistakes should be avoided at all cost.
This holiday season, make use of the following spending plan rather than going on a single spree on which you are more likely to overspend:
Week One, ending December 5-Finalise Your Travel Arrangements
Wind up travel arrangements early in the month before fares and hotel rates are revised upwards for the busiest part of the year. If you are taking a road trip to see the folks back at home or elsewhere, buy fuel cards for the trip, to and from.
Also, take care of or buy anything else you might need for the trip and avoid looking for at then in crowded stores at the last minute. This could be vaccines for the trip outside the county, renewing visas and passports and other preparations.
Week Two, ending December 12-Cards and Gifts
Finalise the list of those you are planning to get something this Christmas. Get the cards and the gifts when you have the time to shop around for the items you want to give. Send off those that are going far and keep the others wrapped and ready. Shop Amazon's Gift Cards - Perfect Anytime allows you to find the right gift for your loved ones. I prefer using these gift cards because:
- They never expire rather, are redeemable towards millions of items at the store.
- They can be purchased in almost any amount ($0.15- $2,000).
- Your loved ones can spend the gift right away or deposit it into their account awaiting a sale of a lifetime.
- Physical gift cards are delivered for free (one-day-shipping).
Week Three, ending December 19-Christmas Shopping
If you are spending Christmas at home to entertain guests, decide on the menu and make out a shopping list. If you are going to spend the season with the family back at home, do shopping for what you will be taking before the stores are crowded with last minute shoppers. You'll also save yourself the trouble of having to stop and shop en route and perhaps not get all you want.
Week Five, ending December 31-Back to School Shopping When it's Quiet
Don't wait for the stores to get crowded as parents do their back-to-school shopping also do yours. Get books, stationery, uniform, shoes and other school requirements sorted out during this time when the shops are quiet.
When there's a major celebration coming over the New Year, shop for that at this time as well. Meanwhile, here is a guide for a suitable holiday gift.