The holiday season is approaching! It’s time for gifts, cards, parties and decorations. It’s time for smiles, happiness and celebrations. It’s the time of the year that everybody looks forward to……OR NOT.
Holiday season brings with itself loads of extra expenses which make our shopping bills heavier and our wallets much lighter. It rustles our year-long saving expenditure plans in a month and creates immense pressure on our financial resources.
Do you know what else gets effected in the holiday season?- Marital relationships
In married or cohabitating couples, there is often one spender and one saver. Spenders are prone to impulse buying. With “high holiday spirits” when spenders go shopping, they tend to buy some flashy, expensive, and sometimes useless products. This alarms the savers and gets them all worried about the finances. They get mad at their spending partners for splurging their money. The spenders on the other hand resent their partners for being stingy and for making them feel guilty for some innocent festive shopping. Consequently the tension between couples rises and eventually causes conflicts among them.
Do you and your partner also have conflicts about holiday shopping and its financial repercussions? Here are some ways to manage your finances better and avoid arguments this holiday season-
1. Set a budget
If you want to keep your finances in control you must set a budget for festive expenditures. This will create a clear picture for you and your partner of your joint financial resources and what you can afford to spend. A budget will help you and your partner curb your shopping frenzies, and then you will buy only what you really need.
2. Don’t overspend on gifts
Giving and receiving gifts is an important part of the holiday celebration. Sometimes out of love, sometimes for the joy of giving…or maybe just to show off, we spend a little too much on gifts. You have to remember “it’s the thought that counts”. You have to be thoughtful when you give gifts but you don’t have to spend a fortune on them. Just look for something meaningful to gift.
3. Don’t overspend on your children
Curtailing this expenditure is the hardest. Children being children always want the latest toys, video games etc for themselves. As parents you have to decide what’s best for them and what you want to give them. In the holiday season they must be expecting (demanding) a lot of things from you. Give them something that they would like and would fall in line with your budget. Do not stretch your budget too much to abide by your children’s wishes!
4. Keep track of regular expenses
In the holiday season, most people keep a track of their festive shopping expenditures but very often forget about their regular expenses. Are you aware how much you have spent on cafes and restaurants while shopping and catching up with friends and how much have you spent on cab fares? These expenditures take up a big portion of our resources but mostly go unnoticed. Keeping track of regular expenses in the holiday season can really help us manage our finances better.
5. Plan traveling in advance
If you are going to visit your family and relatives in the holidays, make sure that you book tickets well in advance. Advance bookings are cheaper, there are always discounts for early birds. Apart from that, if you pay for tickets months in advance the burden on the holiday budget will get lighter.
6. Set up a holiday fund
Another thing you can do to ease financial pressure in the holiday season is set up a holiday fund. Every month contribute little-little amounts to the holiday fund. This way you and your partner can enjoy a holiday season without stretching or burdening your financial resources.
7. Be reasonable with your purchases
This point applies specially to the spenders. Do not go crazy while shopping, stick to the budget, remember what you need and don’t fall prey to ridiculous marketing gimmicks. Being reasonable while shopping is perhaps the most important thing for avoiding conflicts with your spouse over holiday expenditures.
Following these steps will surely help you and your partner curb excess expenditures this holiday season and will prevent you two from fighting over finances.