If there’s one time of the year you’re more prone to spending money like you’re a millionaire (when chances are you’re not), it’s the holidays. Food, presents, party outfits, more food, Christmas jumpers for the cat – when will all those important costs end?

Believe it or not, you can avoid overspending this holiday season without sacrificing the joy of Christmas. It may sound impossible, but it’s true. Let us help you keep your piggy bank safe with five tips to help you avoid draining it this holiday season:

1. Be Really, Really Honest With Yourself

What can you truly afford to spend? Sometimes, the pressures of the holiday season can make us feel it’s okay to spend excessively because it’s a special time of the year. Be super honest with yourself about your financial situation and give yourself the gift of debt help this Christmas. If you do that this year, maybe next year you’ll be in a much better position to free up your funds for festive treats. 

2. Be Really, Really Honest With Your Spouse

Over 7 million Americans hide money from their spouses. Is it possible that just as many hide a lack of money from their spouses? Be honest with your partner about your financial situation, and work out a plan together. Simply offloading will make you feel much better about things. Once you’ve shared your situation, you can work as a team to ensure you have a very Merry Christmas together that doesn’t leave you grieving for your lost cash reserves in the New Year. 

3. Have A List Of Gifts, And Stick To It

The old saying, “don’t go shopping on an empty stomach” has relevance with Christmas shopping too. If you go shopping without a plan, without preparation, and without a list, you’ll simply be led to impulse-buy whatever looks good. This can lead to some almighty overspending. Create a budget for your Christmas gifts, use this to build a list, and then stick to it, no matter how tempted you are.

4. Treasure The Memories Not The Things

It is easy to get caught up in the constant stream of advertising telling us that having lots of stuff is important. This is especially true at Christmas when all the shops want you to spend, spend, spend! 

If you take a breath and step away from the high-pressure marketing for a moment, you’ll remember that consumerism is not what true Christmas is about. The holidays are a time for treasuring memories and coming together with those you love. Building your celebrations around this will ensure you enjoy a Christmas rich in love rather than objects. 

5. Plump Up Your Bank Balance

If you really feel you must spend a lot this Christmas, make sure you have the funds for it. Here are some ideas to help you plump up your bank balance during the holidays:

  • Take on some extra hours at work
  • Do some jobs on the side like dog walking, or online freelancing
  • Sell items you no longer use
  • Hire out your home if you take a vacation

Having a bank balance that can handle overspending certainly takes the pressure off. However, if your accounts aren’t flush enough to allow for some indulgence, think ahead and reel in your enthusiasm. Christmas is not worth the nightmare of getting into debt. 

This holiday season, treasure the memories made and the people who help you make them. Fancy gifts may produce smiles on the day they’re received, but their shine soon dwindles, and they aren’t what makes Christmas memorable. Follow the tips above and avoid overspending for a guilt-free new year.