It’s November, and you know what that means; the Christmas season is just around the corner.  Of course, if you have been able to get out and visit any stores, you already know that.  So, this is the perfect time to discuss your holiday shopping budget.

Not overspending is always a good idea, but even more so right now given we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic.  All parents want to make Christmas or Chanukah special for their children, especially in a year where everything has been crazy.  I completely understand the emotion behind it; however, you can make the holiday special without overspending.

It doesn’t do anyone any good if you are charging gifts on credit cards, knowing it will take you months or even years to pay them off.  Eventually, that will take away something the family needs or wants.  Not to mention, you are showing your child a bad money habit that they will adopt and take into their adulthood.

It’s time to start thinking differently, outside the box.  Maybe you make your own gifts this year.  They usually mean so much more than anything you could buy in the store anyway.  Maybe you make it a family project and make something together.  It’s more about being together, especially in times like these.

While we think about our gift budget, many other parts of the holiday season can sometimes be overlooked when budgeting.  Things such as food, treats, travel, cards, postage, etc.  All of these really start to add up, and if they are not accounted for in the budget, that can be hundreds of dollars you are overspending without even realizing it until the bill shows up.  When you are sitting down to make that budget, make sure to include everything, so there are no surprises.

Think twice before overspending this holiday season.  For many, they simply cannot afford as much this year as they could in years past, and from no fault of their own.  Instead of putting this holiday on a credit card, make it a teaching moment, and give your child memories that they can take with them for a lifetime.  Forgo the stuff that they will even being playing with after a few months.  In fact, maybe make this a new family tradition.


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