Holidays are about spending time with friends and family. With several holidays lining up over the next few months, many are excited about shopping, trips and activities with friends and family.
But be careful, you might just end up with a hole in your wallet at the end of the festivities from overspending. In case you have not paid attention to them before, here are a few things you should not do to avoid spending over your budget:
If you bought a shirt at 50% off for $10, you DID NOT save $10, you SPENT $10. “Holiday Sales,” “Khmer New Year Discount,” “Buy 2 Get 1 Free,” etc. These are but a few frequently seen posters at the malls and supermarkets during the holidays. They are designed to convince you to buy more because you think you would save more money.
The truth is you don’t. It is worth remembering that many items, especially fancy and expensive items, or service packages are still EXPENSIVE even at a reduced price and the only deal you are getting is a huge blow to your budget.
On Facebook, you saw your friend just got a cool looking pair of shoes as their Lunar New Year Gift. You decided you want one too even though the shoes cost $100 and you only have a budget of $30 and you must borrow money for it.
It’s easy to get caught up in social comparison and the hype of gift and shopping during festive seasons, that causes us to make unnecessary purchases that we know we cannot afford. Whether you are buying a gift or just something for yourself, it’s helpful to ask: “Do I really need this?” “Can I afford it?” and “Are there cheaper alternatives?” The key to staying within your budget is careful planning. Living with financial reality in mind can help you stay more aware of where your money goes and prevents overspending..
One of the largest expenses during the holiday season is probably on travel. There are multiple costs associated with travelling: accommodation, food, activities etc. and you can quickly lose track of your expenses.
Many trips are expensive because people quickly hop on the convenient but expensive holiday package deal trips without proper research. The package may include activities that your group doesn't want to participate in, and you end up spending more on the things you want, for instance.
Some trip goers are not well prepared before the trips and therefore have to resort to convenience. For example, you might forget to bring your swimsuit to a beach trip, so you have to buy them at the beach which is more costly.
The key here is to plan ahead. Limit your luxury or convenient expenses by packing what you need in advance, research hotels and transport prices and bring some food for on-the-go etc. Spending time and connecting with people are more important than giving them things during festive seasons. The holiday is supposed to be joyful, not stressful. Your friends and family will appreciate the little planning and preparation you put into organizing trips/parties. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.
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