A season based in giving, celebration, and excess is not without its financial faux pas. As you can imagine, keeping spending under control in the face of gift exchanges, holiday parties, and entertainment duties is easier said than done. In the name of not setting yourself up for financial failure right before the new year, PureWow has outlined the most common financial mishaps associated with end-of-the-year festivities, and how you can avoid them. "When you're short on time and gift ideas, it's easy to throw money at the situation—and thriftiness out the door," writes PureWow. Simply being aware of the following three mistakes will help you guard your cash during November and December:
Opening store credit cards
The only thing more common than cheer during the holiday season is credit card gimmicks. "A lot of store credit cards try to get you with offers for deferred interest rates versus regular ones—meaning you'll still owe the full interest amount," writes PureWow. "You just get a six-month grace period on paying it off. Of course, the higher-than-usual APRs (sometimes as much as 29 percent) are another reason to steer clear of in-store credit-card offers." While the urge to spend money on extravagant gifts may be strong, come 2017, you'll be thankful you restrained yourself.
Overspending to get rewards
Companies are veritable masters of gamifying their sales and rewards programs to tap into your competitive side—draining your bank account in the process. "Your budget for your office holiday party was $50, but the saleslady just told you about an amazing deal for $25 off your next purchase if you spend $100 today. Don't bite," writes PureWow. Instead, keep your holiday budget in mind, and don't fall victim to these expensive marketing ploys.
Not budgeting for holiday parties
When creating a holiday budget, you'll likely set aside money for gifts and hosting expenses, but what about gift wrap, hostess gifts, and greeting cards? While these expenses may seem frivolous, they quickly add up. "Add separate budget lines for these items (think 'holiday entertainment' and 'wrapping supplies')," explains PureWow. "That way, you won't run short—or have to rely on a credit card—when the time comes."
Head over to PureWow for the full list of holiday financial mistakes, and share your budgeting tips with us!