3 Ways to Avoid Overspending this Holiday Season

by Paige Estigarribia

(sponsored post)

All you have to do is set foot in any grocery or retail store this time of year...and you know it's the holiday season. The sales are on, the displays are beautiful, and there are spending temptations at every turn. But what happens when you find that great deal... and it's a little out of your budget? Or what about those of us who haven't even made their holiday budget yet? And top that all off with the limited time you have for shopping, decorating, wrapping, and cooking? Overspending during the holiday chaos can be a serious pitfall, right? But instead of overspending, and in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, why not spend a few moments thinking about what actually means more during this season? You will likely find that the best gifts you can give during the season are ones that can't be bought with money. Time together with loved ones, special moments, and making memories are the things that make the holidays special.

1. Saving

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American planned to spend about $800 celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas and/or Kwanzaa last year. That's quite a bit of spending in a very short time. But saving, budgeting, and planning your own money, or contributing to the savings accounts of friends or family, is a wonderful and meaningful gift. As part of a total family Christmas present, why not tell children or parents that you are saving for a car, a vacation, or a home repair? Doing so means that all family knows where you stand financially during the holidays, and it may also be an incentive for gift givers who'd like to help contribute to your savings journey.

Saving money during the holidays

2. Family

The holidays are a great reason to get friends and family together. But travel costs, plus gift-giving costs can add up, and result in some serious overspending. If you're traveling, tell family members that the travel costs to spend time together is your gift to them. And if you have family members who are coming to visit, make sure they understand that you don't expect a gift on top of their travel costs. You can even offer them an extra guest room so that they don't have to pay for a hotel. Over the holidays, it's easy to lose sight of what matters. Let's change that. Make sure that family knows the importance of being together during the holiday season.

Making the holidays meaningful

3. Memories

Along with saving and family comes memories. And one of the best ways to make the holidays memorable is yearly traditions. From putting up a Christmas tree, to preparing special meals and treats, to decorating your home with holiday decorations, these holiday traditions are memorable for all. Memories spent with family and friends are a wonderful gift for the holidays. Spending time making memories is one of the best gifts you can give. It's not how much you spend that makes the holidays special, it's how you spend them.

The holidays are a time for celebration. But Suntrust also wants to make sure you are spending within your means. Rather than spending money, spending your time managing your savings, enjoying family, or making memories are all wonderful gifts that don't cost a thing.

The holidays are for focusing on moments that matter. But for many Americans, financial stress can get in the way. This year, you can make small changes that make a big difference for your financial well-being.

In this holiday planning guide, you'll find tips for getting organized and making a plan for holiday spending so you can feel confident in your ability to stay on track with your budget. You'll see how other Americans are shopping, traveling, celebrating and giving in ways that make the holidays cost less, but mean more. Download Guide

For more holiday planning advice visit holiday resources.

Meaningful spending made easy with a budgeting tool to help you make a plan and stay on track with your holiday spending. Download here.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust. The opinions and text are all mine.

Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher who enjoys writing about food, frugal living, and money-saving tips. Visit Paige on Google+.

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