If you’re a parent, you need to read this before you go holiday shopping.
- The holiday season can be an expensive time, and that’s especially true for parents who tend to rush to give their kids the perfect vacation.
- Some tips from Dave Ramsey might help you avoid spending regrets.
- Start shopping with a budget based on fair spending for each child and stick to that budget.
The holiday season is always a dangerous time for your budget. It can be all too easy to get caught up in the festivities and charge your credit cards way more than you should. It can leave you with a lot of regrets once the bills start rolling in in the new year.
While this is true for everyone, it can be especially difficult for parents to stick to reasonable spending limits during the holiday season. After all, many moms and dads want to make vacations magical and memorable for their kids — and that can lead to draining your bank account just to fulfill your little ones’ dreams.
The good news is that finance expert Dave Ramsey has some shopping tips for parents that can help you avoid expenses you’ll regret.
1. Set a reasonable budget
According to Ramsey, the first thing parents need to do is “set a reasonable budget” before they start shopping for holiday gifts for the kids.
Ramsey thinks budgeting is key because parents end up spending a small fortune on gifts, which they often can’t afford. It highlights the 2022 State of Personal Finance Survey conducted by Ramsey Solutionswhich revealed that an average family with children plans to spend $1,300 on Christmas in 2022.
That’s a lot of money, but things add up quickly when you start trying to fulfill all of your kids’ desires. Rather than spending what it would take to buy everything on your kids’ wish lists, Ramsey instead thinks you should start by deciding how much money you actually have, and then let your budget dictate what items end up. under your tree.
“Be sure to set your gift budget before you shop,” Ramsey warns. “Don’t let your kids’ lists tell you how much money you should spend — your budget should.”
2. Determine what is right for each of your children
Ramsey then suggests determining how much money you should spend on each child. This advice is also important. Most parents like to keep spending sensibly even among their kids, while others might choose to spend a bit more on older kids who tend to have more expensive gift lists.
Whatever works for your family, it’s best to figure it out before you start buying. Otherwise, if you end up spending a ton on one child to get the gift they want, you may have too little left in your budget for the rest of your children. This could lead to overspending.
3. Stick to it
Finally, the final step Ramsey urges parents to take is to stick to their budget — which may be harder to do than it sounds.
“Be careful of sneaky purchases that drain your budget, like Christmas stockings,” he advises. “Don’t get carried away with creating a stocking that looks like it was uploaded by St. Nick himself.”
Making a long list of all the things you’re going to buy, including prices, can be a great way to follow this suggestion.
If you heed each of these three tips, you can give your kids a great Christmas without breaking the bank or draining their college funds. They will likely be grateful for the gifts you have under the tree and for the wise financial example you are setting for them as well.
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