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The holiday season is here, and with it, comes heightened spending. If you are not careful, this month could see you making impulse purchases which you might regret come January.

To avoid this while still making merry, here is how you can party, travel and gift your loved ones without having to break the bank.

Create a budget

With a budget, you can easily organize your expenses in terms of priorities and then spend only on your immediate needs. Now that technology is an integral component of our lives, go ahead and craft your December budget by creating a new spreadsheet on your phone or downloading apps such as Wally and Spending Tracker which will help you manage your spending.

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Change your perspective

You may be intending to borrow money from an online money lending application this season because you feel obligated to shop for and buy gifts for your family.

This should however not be the case. Offer your loved ones gifts that are thoughtful and meaningful. Also, gifts don’t have to be material things.

Make a shopping list and follow it

If you walk into a supermarket without a shopping list, you are likely to buy items you don’t need or hadn’t planned for. Make a shopping list and practice strict adherence to it especially when you get tempted to buy things on impulse.

Pay in cash

One of the best ways to stay within your holiday budget is to leave your credit card at home when going shopping. This way, it will be easier to avoid the temptation of picking more items than you had budgeted for. Additionally, you will need to stop borrowing loans from money lending apps which are easily accessible through your mobile phone.

Do your research

With technology, it is now possible to compare the prices of different items online, because most companies enlist the products they offer and their prices on their websites and social media platforms. If you wish to shop for, say, a pair of new shoes, why not look around for the best bargain?

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Go for group gifts

If you need to gift your loved ones, consider teaming up with others and contribute towards purchasing the present. For instance, if you wish to surprise your parents with a washing machine, you can collaborate with your siblings and split the cost. You can also do this at the workplace.

Find alternative ways to celebrate

If you cannot afford to shower your family or friends with gifts, do not be hard on yourself. There are many ways to celebrate that don’t involve gifting.

For instance, showing up at important events or spending quality time with your loved ones doesn’t require exorbitant spending.

Explore your creativity

Sites such as Pinterest and YouTube have thousands of DIY videos and ideas that you can borrow. You can learn how to make handmade cards, decorate vases or make scarfs. You can learn one such skill and then offer your family and friends some exquisite, customised gift items.

Plan in advance

How much would you have saved if you’d have set aside some money for holiday spending every month since January? Thousands, right? Next year, plan early and you will be amazed. You could even open a fixed deposit account for this purpose.