Does your love for the holidays cause you to overspend on entertaining, food, gifts and decorations? You’re not alone. Consumers plan to spend $1,018 this holiday season on gifts, travel and entertainment, according to PwC.

Here are a few ways to enjoy the holiday season without breaking the bank.

1. Reevaluate your income.

One thing you should do before you make a list of people to exchange gifts with is take a look at what you have to spend. You shouldn’t count your holiday bonus. Even if you get a bonus every year, you should only count your normal monthly income. That way if you discover you will not be getting a bonus this year, you won’t be in the hole after your holiday shopping. And if you get your expected bonus? You can use that money to pay off credit card debt or invest it. Keep in mind if you will be traveling for the holidays, you’ll be spending for hotels and gas. If you will have relatives visiting you, you’ll want to plan to spend more on food.

2. Make your list.

Make a list of who you will exchange gifts with this year. It doesn’t have to be the same as last year. If you can’t or don’t want to spend as much, let the people you would’ve spent the money on know that you’re trying to save money. They might be relieved that they don’t have to spend as much this year, too. You might also suggest doing a Secret-Santa style exchange, where every family member only gives a gift to one person. Another idea would be to take the money you would’ve spent on one and another and select a charity to donate it to together instead.

3. Plan ahead.

Focus on getting gifts throughout the year to spread out the costs and stress of waiting until the holiday season to start shopping. Keep an eye out for deals and take advantage of online retailers offering free shipping. Try to group your shopping outings together to save time and gas.

If the holidays cause you to stress and worry if your current income will cover holiday expenses, come see us. We can put together an income plan that will account for all spending needs, including holiday spending. Call us at 952-657-7470 or email us at info@assuredretirementgroup.com to set up an appointment to review how we can help you with your income stream and spending habits. Click here to learn more about our financial planning services.

If you have any questions about retirement in Minneapolis feel free to come pay us a visit!

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