First Person: 3 Ways I'm Staying on Budget This Holiday Season

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to an article published by the National Retail Federation in October 2013, a survey study showed that shoppers are expected to spend less money this holiday season than they did in 2012.

The National Retail Federation reports that shoppers are expected to spend around $737.95 on gifts, decor, and more. That is a 2% drop from the $752.24 they actually spent during the 2012 holiday shopping season.

My husband and I always try to keep our holiday spending under control, but it isn't always easy. This year I not only plan to spend less than I did in 2012, but I also plan to spend less than the estimated $737.95, and here's how I plan to do it.

Avoiding new decorations

One of our largest holiday expenses in 2012 were our holiday decorations. My husband and I bought our first home in 2012 which meant we had quite a bit more space to decorate. While I was able to save over $100 last year by making a few do-it-yourself decorations, I still spent a good deal more than I should have. This year I've decided to reuse all the decorations we had last year, and to avoid buying anything new. Doing this will greatly reduce our holiday spending this year.

Skipping traditional "gifts"

Every year my husband and I set a holiday gift spending limit for each person on our shopping list, but we always end up overspending on at least one person. This year I've decided to skip the traditional gift giving ceremony, and will give everyone gift cards instead. The truth is, everyone on my shopping list is an adult except for one, and it's probably better to let the adults decide what they want anyway.

Giving gift cards instead of gifts means I will be able to stick to my $300 gift budget.

Not hosting a "fancy" party

In the past I've put together some pretty "fancy" parties for my guests that included everything from dinner to activities and giveaways; however, this year I'm skipping all of that. We plan to prepare a small dinner for ourselves and our parents, and that's about it. Skipping the "fancy" party will save us no less than $100.

This year we are working with a total holiday budget of $500, and I simply refuse to go over that amount. I'm confident that making these changes will help us stay on budget, and allow us to celebrate the holiday with less stress.

More from this contributor:
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Disclaimer: This content is not meant to be financial advice. The facts written above are the author's personal experience only. Applying these methods to your finance should be done with caution, and is at your own risk.

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