We all look forward to the festive season, but not to the financial hangover that comes afterwards. Here are six tips to limit your holiday spending without having to deny yourself a festive season altogether …

1. Budget

If you don’t have an idea of how much you can and can’t spend, you will probably spend too much. Before the holiday season, work out what your major extra expenses will be and how much you are willing to spend.

2. Prioritise your payments

Before you get into the spirit of the festive season, first make sure you settle your monthly bills. Also put aside however much you want to save early on in the month, rather than hoping that there will be money left over to add to your savings at the end of the month.

3. Keep a festive spending journal

It is easy to spend more than you mean to during the holiday season. You might not even realise how much you are spending until it is too late. Keep track of how much you are spending in a financial journal – this way you’ll always be aware of how much you’ve spent and how much money you still have available.

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While you don’t want to be the Scrooge who refuses to spend money on anything, you can cut costs here and there and still have a good time

4. Go on a ‘staycation’

After working hard all year you probably need a holiday. You don’t always need a whirlwind trip to Paris to feel like you have been away. Why not explore your own country or even just experience your own city a bit more? This is called a ‘staycation’ and it won’t be so heavy on your wallet.

5. Don’t hurt your wallet by going overboard

Being generous is a worthy character trait, but some of us can go a little overboard by buying expensive presents for everyone. Whilst it always feels good to give, it is important that you are wise with your money.

It is perhaps a good idea to limit your gift-giving to close friends and family, or agree to a price limit with friends and family. Even better, everyone draws one name out of a hat and you simply buy a present for that one person. Of course, you could also save a lot of money by making creative homemade gifts.

6. Remember there is always a cheaper alternative

The festive season is a time to spend with friends and family. Remind yourself that you can still have quality time with the people you care about without spending a fortune on going out.

For example, if you want to have dinner with friends, you could host a dinner evening where everyone brings one dish. Instead of going out to the movies, you could rent a DVD. Look for things to do that cost nothing, like taking a walk in the park and enjoying nature.

While you don’t want to be the Scrooge who refuses to spend any money on anything, you can cut costs here and there and still have a good time. You don’t have to deny yourself a holiday, just manage your spending so that you can enjoy your festive season with financial peace of mind.