UNITED STATES—The holidays are upon us rather we want them to be or not. So what does that mean? Americans are spending more money people and as a result we’re going to see major credit card statements or the budget stretched to new limits as we get closer and closer to Christmas. We sometimes become so engulfed in the notion of giving (which is great to begin with), but we sometimes do not know are limits people.

What does that mean? Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you should overdo it. You need to be aware of what you’re spending so you don’t fall into a position where you overspend and don’t realize it until it is too late. For starters, you have to have a set budget. This is what I am spending for the holidays and I do not plan to go beyond that budget.

No American likes to hear the word budget because it places you on constraints. You can only do this or that because of your budget, but that teaches you how to save and navigate the money that you have. If you don’t think saving money is a good thing, than I have no clue who you are America. If you save today, you have more for later. That is my notion of thinking which is important to reaching your financial goals.

So start with a list. Who are you purchasing items for this holiday season and what is your cap for each person? It could be $20, $30, $50, whatever you budget allows, pick a number and do your best to stay within that realm if at all possible. Is it ok to go over slightly? Yes, if you choose, but then you run into that situation where you’re trying to match or align that amount you went over for every single person on your list. It ultimately leads to you spending more than you expected, so be careful.

Don’t feel the need to think about the price of an item when purchasing a gift. So many of us get caught up on such and as a result you run into that situation where you think because you purchased the most expensive item that the person you bought the gift for automatically will love it. Guess what? That is not the case. Sometimes you need to listen to what the person is telling you they want or what they need. Not everyone wants the most expensive items in the world, some of us like the simple things and simple doesn’t always have to break the bank.

In addition, remember if you don’t have it you don’t have it. DO NOT FEEL THE NEED TO PURCHASE SOMETHING just to please someone else. If you don’t have the money in your budget, guess what: you don’t have the money in your budget and you should NOT feel guilty about that. It is what it is and you should not stress about it. Let it be and move along. It is not just gifts we tend to overspend on this also aligns with food, decorations and all those other items that come with the holidays that quickly add up.

The holidays are supposed to be joyous and fun, not stressful and a headache. Control your money  don’t allow your money to control you.

Written By Jason Jones