Controlling Holiday Spending

Glenda Wentworth
Family & Consumer Science Extension Agent, Eagle County

Holidays can be stressful because of the amount of money spent on gifts, decorations, mailing costs, special events, food, travel expenses, etc. Reduce the stress in your life by constructing a plan now. This improves your chances of not overspending for the holidays.

Holidays are when people tend to overdo to make others happy. This attitude drains time, energy, and finances. Decide what is important to your family by prioritizing. Involve all family members in the process of deciding what traditions are the most important. Formulate a resource budget of time, energy, and money.

A large portion of holiday spending is presents. Plan your holiday spending plan based on what you can afford. To help budget for gifts, make a list of everyone you plan to give a present to and write what you want to give them and the cost.

There are creative and thoughtful ways to provide gifts for the holidays. However, if you want to make gifts, block out time on the calendar for these types of activities. Remember to include the purchase price of the supplies to create the gifts.

Do not become pressured by commercial pitches to buy. Enjoy the colorful displays and merchandise for their beauty and significance. Plan to keep costs down by:

  • Spending under your limit
  • Planning for miscellaneous expenses such as food while shopping
  • Drawing names
  • Being aware of retailers tactics
  • Using what you have for decorations, gifts, wrapping paper, crafts
  • Start planning for next year by creating a Christmas account