This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Christmas season brings with it more expenses than normal due to the purchase of gifts, celebrations and meals that take place during these dates. I give you a series of tips to avoid making unnecessary purchases and generating economic disorders.

The Christmas season is a time when people often lose control of their finances, since many times they spend more than budgeted or make unnecessary purchases. For this reason, it is important to be clear about what can be used, so that expenses do not exceed income and the household economy is not affected by debt next year.

Here are five recommendations to enjoy the holiday season with peace of mind and without losing control when shopping:

1. Understand the financial reality: The last few months have been complex for everyone. According to data from ECLAC, the number of employees in Latin America was reduced by 25 million, so the level of economic uncertainty for many is a reality that calls for reflection and that must be taken into consideration when celebrating. Encouraging celebrations with “DIY” gifts can be a good idea so that everyone can participate.

2. Define a budget: To take care of finances it is essential to avoid spending more than what is received, and in that sense, make a budget It is an excellent mechanism to control money and clearly know what is the amount that can be allocated to make purchases during the Christmas season.

3. Plan purchases: Commerce is reactivated and businesses are going to create promotions and discounts to attract buyers during Christmas. It is a good suggestion, to prepare a list in advance that helps to know the person and what type of budget or if possible the name of the gift that I should look for, then it is convenient to compare prices, do not buy at first sight, see where it is more convenient to buy a product and make purchases in advance, these factors will be key to behave in an intelligent and orderly manner.

4. Prioritize savings: The pandemic taught the importance of being cautious with finances, which is why it is always recommended to reserve an amount to attend to any unforeseen event.

Ideally, a person can save 20% of their income each month. If this cannot be achieved, the important thing is that at least a percentage is saved until we can have the greatest number of months of future fixed expenses covered as well as make a section for unforeseen expenses equivalent to 10% of our savings, so that we can be prepared for any contingency.

5. Avoid debt: Many people tend to make their purchases with credit cards, which, if misused, can bring more than one headache.

Remember that credit cards are not an extension of our salary, so understanding the payment of installments on credit cards is essential, since the interest that is generated after using it can end up making up to two or three pay. times the value of the product that was purchased.

The financial situation in the region is complex, however, this is not why we should stop celebrating. The call for this period is to act and spend with measure and balance, to enjoy the festivities with family and friends, which is the essence of them, and not that the month of January becomes a month of regrets and claims for the committed excesses.

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