Names on gift lists are being checked off, plans for holiday gatherings are coming together, and cash registers are signing their song. We’re right in the middle of the holiday season, and it’s easy to put blinders on, forget the budget and plow through the next few weeks. You just want it to be over, and figure you’ll just deal with the repercussions in January. It’s easy to do, but it’s a bad idea for many reasons. Here’s just a few of them:
Can’t Pay Your Bills
If you’re not paying attention to your budget, and spend freely on holiday activities, you might find yourself in a situation where you can’t meet your monthly financial commitments. Not being able to pay your bills will not fill your holiday with cheer.
Maybe you recognized that you can’t spend cash you don’t have and put your holidays on a credit card. Come January you’re going to see that bill. You’ll have to make payments, impacting your budget for as many months as it takes to pay off the bill. Your debt payments will have you feeling a holiday hangover for months to come.
Speaking of that bill you get in January, if you hadn’t been paying attention to what you were spending, you’re likely going to spend more than you thought or wanted. Not just a little more, a whole lot more.
You may have spent time and effort finding the best deals for those gifts, but the interest you’re going to pay on the debt your accrued may negate much or even all of what you saved.
Ideally, a person would spend the year saving, and then have a pile of cash when the holidays arrive. That’s hard to do if you’re paying off last Christmas all year. It’s a cycle that’s extremely difficult to break out of.
It’s never a good idea to ignore your finances, but during the holiday season it’s extra bad, and the consequences more significant because people tend to spend more during the season. It may be uncomfortable, difficult and you might have to decline an invitation, or take a gift or two down a notch, but come next year your finances will thank you.
How about you, EOD nation, have you been tempted to put on your holiday budget blinders yet?