Holiday spending rules everyone should know

It’s always the same year after year. You are tempted to spend more than you (or any mere mortal for that matter) can afford during your annual vacation.

After all the whole point of a vacation is to gather a little bit of excitement in your life to recharge your batteries and once the excitement hits. Hay presto! Out come the flashy credit cards with a flourish as you resolutely thrust away from your mind the prickly fact that you would have to end up paying an arm and a leg in interest over the coming months.

Along comes the New Year with its myriad  bills and you are in for a nasty nasty shock and end up making fervent resolutions on how you will never ever do that again! It does not always have to be this way. Not if you do your homework before hand. Here are some tips on how you can manage your finances and actually enjoy your holidays as well.

Break your holiday spending tradition not the piggy bank

OK, the kids and your spouse might not really like to be told that you will not be taking them to the Seychelles islands this year. So it would be better to take your family into confidence beforehand. Unless you thrive on temper tantrums and are exceptionally well versed at handling those tear filled awkward moments. It is advisable to break it to the rest of the family gently and softly.

Plan B

It is advisable to have a less expensive alternative already firmly in place. Something along the lines of “Honey we really can’t afford the Seychelles this year so I have booked tickets to Disneyland instead”.  This way not only will your family be mollified, they really won’t be able to say much either, not with you gently waving the tickets in their faces.  This option may curtail expenses but it won’t remove them altogether. But compared to the flood of recriminations that you might have to face, it’s an ideal arrangement between no spending and irate family and very heavy spending but happy family.

Watch your wallet

During your vacation it is not necessary to eat only at the most expensive restaurants or stay at the most luxurious hotels to enjoy your holidays. Second tier hotels and restaurants and sometimes even simple room service can be enjoyable too. So, stay frugal and make your trip affordable.

Let your budget guide you not your emotions

Yes your son wants the 1963 classic Plymouth Fury muscle car and has been making sure that you ( and everyone else) knows it. Yes his GPA has been well above average, but don’t allow yourself to be blackmailed by your own emotions. If The Fury is playing havoc with your finances then it has to be removed from your list. Period!  You may counter with showing pictures of that excellent Japanese 660cc Kai Kar you have seen being advertised by your neighbor. It will gather you a few scrawls but one look at your bank balance should cheer you up. Use this strategy for all your extended family members.