As we near the holiday season, greater pressure is exerted on all of us to spend. While much of that pressure comes from advertising and holiday sales, a significant amount comes from the expectations of our own traditions. Traditions often involve travel, gifts, decorations, sporting or other events, special food and drink, and so forth. Traditions can be quite costly.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we do away with holiday traditions (although I know a few I would eliminate), but that we examine the costs in detail. Keeping a spending log specifically for holiday traditions is not a bad idea. It will not only give you a better understanding of the true costs, but it will allow you to identify areas where costs might be reduced. If keeping a log during the holidays is going to be too stressful, make it a point to write down and review your spending soon after the holiday season.
With a little creativity you may be able to cut back on holiday spending. If, however, you decide that your current level of holiday spending is necessary, you will be able to incorporate the true cost into your yearly spending plan. That is, you will be able to budget for holiday spending throughout the year.
What strategies do you employ to manage holiday spending?