Plan ahead so your holiday spending doesn’t spiral out of control

The holiday season and annual parties are just around the corner. It’s always an exciting time of year, but that excitement can be dampened by worry if you’re facing a financial shortfall. Here are five ways you can prepare for the holidays without breaking the bank.

Party planning

Instead of meeting friends at a restaurant or bar, consider hosting a low-key potluck at home. You could even set up a rotation schedule for hosting key holidays throughout the year.

Dress for success

Tired of wearing the same outfit to every party every year? Rather than paying full retail price, try thrifting or shopping at a consignment store. If you need a one-time fancy outfit, consider a dress or suit rental company.

Gifts from the heart

Are you a painter, knitter, or have some other crafting hobby? If so, rather than buying presents for friends and family, make your own gifts. Wherever possible, put a personalized spin on things.

And rather than having to buy gifts for all of your friends and family, encourage them to join in on Secret Santa exchanges.

Charitable giving

There’s always a big push to make charitable donations over the holiday season. If you are able to donate to a registered charity, you’ll get a receipt that will earn you an income tax deduction in the spring.

Set a budget

The only way you’ll know how much money you’re spending is to create a budget that tracks all of your expenses, big and small. Yet less than half of all Canadians have a budget. ABC Life Literacy Canada’s Money Matters program can show you how to create one. The program also offers other free money management resources, including workbooks, activities and workshops.

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