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With so many holidays and obligations during the season, it is easy to get off track with financial goals. Anxiety over money in January stems from bad habits during the holidays. It is possible to avoid the money blues by managing money well during the holidays. These are some simple tips to manage finances even at an expensive time of the year.

Alternative Festivities

Alcohol and food can be a struggle for managing finances during the holiday season. Focusing on free activities is a great way to keep the job and togetherness of the holiday season while dropping some of the expenses. A family could plan a winter walk around a neighborhood with lots of lights. Friends and colleagues could plan volunteer opportunities to contribute to the greater good during the holiday season.

Budget Holiday Expenses

Preparing a budget well in advance of the holidays can help keep spending under control. To set up an inclusive budget, people should allot money for specific presents, holiday dinners, travel funds, and any ancillary costs for the season. Spending the time before the holidays to research and pick out gifts and planning menus is more personal and prevents splurge spending.

Creative Gifts

While everyone wants to buy the latest expensive gadget for their loved ones for the holidays, creative gifts are more personal and help people manage their finances better. Giving creative gifts requires thinking about the recipient and the giver’s skills and interests. Depending on these, gifts could include knitted wear, a free photoshoot, surf lessons, babysitting, a gourmet meal, or anything else someone can give.

Tracking Apps

Finally, accountability can go a long way in keeping up with financial goals during the holiday season. Spending and budget apps for any time of the year work for tracking, but there are festive, holiday-specific spending apps to help people reach their financial goals. Apps like Santa’s Bag or Christmas Gift List let users input their holiday budgets, specific gifts, and more and track actual spending and holiday shopping progress. These apps allow users to track their holiday spending separately, making them useful for separate holiday savings funds.

People love the holiday because of what they represent, not the amount of money they spend. Remembering the real reason for the holidays can help people prioritize experiences of togetherness rather than engaging in out-of-control spending. These easy tips can help reign in anyone’s finances during the holiday season.