Ways to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season
The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends. Generously giving gifts to those most important to you is heartwarming, and that good feeling sometimes makes us lose perspective on how much we can afford to spend. Fifteen percent of Americans are still paying the debt they created during last year’s holidays. Don’t let that happen to you this year. Here are some tips to help you avoid overspending this holiday season.
1. Set a Holiday Budget
The holiday shopping season is right around the corner. Now is the time to figure out how much you can afford to spend without causing you to struggle to get caught up throughout the next 12 months. One of the most common mistakes made when developing a holiday budget is not accounting for hidden costs. Will you be traveling to visit relatives? Are there gifts for you to get in addition to those for your family? Are there holiday parties or other special events that come with a cost? Try to account for everything that will cost you money. Once you calculate your spending budget, add 10% to cover any unexpected expenses.
2. Take Advantage of Wish Lists
Research shows that the gifts that are most appreciated are those the recipient asked to receive. That clever surprise gift that cost too much and took too long to find is rarely enjoyed and will end up in storage, unused.
If someone you’re shopping for has taken the time to create a list of things they would like to have, take advantage of it! It will save you time looking for a gift and will keep you from giving in to marketing temptations and impulse buys. The best part? You know your gift will be enjoyed and used.
3. Track Your Spending
Tracking your money is always a great idea, but it is essential during the holidays if you want to control your spending. This time of year disrupts your routine. You’re buying things you wouldn’t buy during other months of the year. Diligently record every expense at the end of each day. Compare it to your budget to make sure you stay on track. Your January will appreciate it!
4. Don’t Be Fooled by Retail Marketing Tricks
Retailers are excellent at tricking you into parting with your money. They’ll offer loyalty cards, retail credit, and decoy pricing. Decoy pricing is when a retailer offers a popular product at an unusually reduced price to entice you into the store. Then, shockingly, they’re all out of the item you came to buy. They’re hoping that once you’re in the store, you’ll settle for another similar thing that, surprisingly, is not discounted. This tactic is especially common during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
5. Prepaid Cards
Prepaid cards are popular, especially during the holidays because of the many benefits they offer:
- Less risk of overspending. It’s easy to overspend with traditional payment cards. Prepaid cards limit spending to no more than the card balance.
- Safer than cash. Prepaid cards are a great option during the holidays. Quick and easy registration of prepaid cards protects consumers if the card is lost or stolen.
- Secure alternative form of payment. For a variety of privacy and security reasons, some consumers are still wary of using their credit or debit cards. Prepaid cards offer privacy and protection of certain personal information and private account data.
To avoid overspending during the holidays, you’ll need to work hard and remain focused throughout the season. The hard work is worth it. The result will be the best gift you can give yourself… a relaxed January!
The Reverse Tailgate… Works Every Time.
OK, Almost every time. You have all heard of Tailgating or Piggybacking, where someone follows someone through a secure door. The reverse tailgate is simply the reverse of that; someone sneaks through a door someone else has just come out of by catching the door before it closes. If done right the person leaving never sees or hears what has happened, so it is highly successful.
Recommendation: When training on physical security, instill in your staff that they are responsible for witnessing the closing of the secure door they have opened, both inbound and outbound.