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Ways to Stop the Out of Control Christms Spending

Updated on November 18, 2009

Christmas Spending

Seems like Christmas gift giving and spending increases every year. There are more people on the list, more things to buy, and more money spent. Giving gifts are fun and traditional around the holidays, but if it is destroying your financial well-being, something needs to be done!

Some ways to get control of the money you spend on gifts are easy, while others may require some planning and changes in attitudes. Sometimes people give lavish Christmas gifts, and we feel obligated to reciprocate. People who are financially secure and able to spend money on expensive gifts don't need to worry. It's the everyday people who get into trouble by trying to keep up with the “Jones'.”

If you're living pay check to pay check, didn't save throughout the year for the holiday shopping spree, or lost a job and struggling to make ends meet, then this information might provide some ideas.

Christmas is not about how much you spend on the other guy. Of course, we know this, but it's too easy to get caught up in the holiday hype and wanting to give gifts to the special people in our lives. But, there needs to be a 'do not cross' line, if the post-Christmas is to be just as merry as before Christmas.

Before you head out to the stores, armed with cash and credit cards, take time to review your budget and savings. Christmas is just one day, and as much as we don't want to believe this, most people don't even remember what they got for Christmas last year. So, what benefit was created by out of control spending, maxing out credit cards, or emptying your savings?

If you have a large family, names could be put in a hat, and everyone would draw a name. This way the shopping list would be drastically reduced, because you only need to buy one gift!

If there are a lot of children in the family, why not set a gift spending limit? Such as, $25 per child, or $50 per child if there are just a few children to buy for.

A family gift can be a good way to go, too. Instead of buying something for him and something for her, set limits to spend here, too. Perhaps a down comforter could be a good gift for a couple, or a membership for swimming or exercising at a local YMCA.

Some families decide to omit personal gifts all together. Instead the make a donation to a favorite charity or church in the intended gift recipient's name. This type of gift will not be left in the box in the back of someone's closet, or wind up in a yard sale or donation box across town.

It seems that running out and grabbing the first thing off a store shelf is easy. It's a 'no-brainer' excuse, and only reinforces out of control gift giving. Take the time to lend a hand to a special family member, or spend some time with parents or grandparents. Giving of yourself is a wonderful way to share the Christmas spirit and is a gift that will long be remembered.


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