Going over-budget around the holidays is easy to do. So the most important thing is to actually set a budget in the first place, and not just put everything on credit cards. Here are the five things you need to avoid if you want to stay within that budget.

  • 1

    Overspending Just to Impress Someone

    This one's really common with young adults, who feel like they have to prove to their parents that they're doing okay financially. But boyfriends and husbands tend to do it a lot too.

  • 2

    Buying Presents for Too Many People

    Sometimes it feels like you have to give a gift to every co-worker, neighbor, and friend you have. But that's not really expected, and it's definitely not necessary. Especially if you're on a budget.

  • 3

    Spending the Same Amount on Each of Your Kids

    It might seem fair, but the fact is, you just don't have to spend as much to make a four-year-old happy as you do with a 12-year-old. As long as you don't tell them, young kids usually don't know the difference.

  • 4

    Forgetting to Factor the Little Things Into Your Budget

    The obvious things you budget for are the presents, the plane tickets, and any other travel expenses you might have. But a lot of people forget to factor in things like decorations, shipping costs, higher utility bills, and the money to cover any parties or get-togethers they're hosting.

  • 5

    Doing All Your Shopping at the Last Minute

    It can put you over-budget because it doesn't give you enough time to pick out anything thoughtful. So you end up overspending to compensate. Ideally, you should get all your shopping done by the middle of the month, so you won't have to pay extra shipping to make sure they get it on time.