It’s easy to get off track and spend more than you can afford during the holiday season. Between gift-giving, social gatherings, charitable giving, entertaining and other celebratory expenses during this holiday seasons means massive spending for many.

Even people who are typically frugal spenders can get caught up in a holiday spending frenzy. The money tends to fly out the window pretty quickly during the Eid Mubarak holidays.But, overspending doesn’t have to be the norm for you during the holidays.

There are easy, practical and dare we say it almost painless ways to save during the holidays.  Wouldn’t it be nice to go into the Idul Fitri Holidays  with a surplus rather than a deficit? Diligent matters and small savings here and there, can add up to a much happier July. Avoid going into the new month with a load of debt by following these  tips for smart spending this holiday season.

1. Plan and Make a Holiday Budget

I’ve said it before —planning ahead will always keep you on track. Sitting down for even just a few minutes to be realistic about your family’s goals, needs, and expectations for the holidays can save you time and money–not to mention your sanity–later on.

Determine who you need to buy for and how much you can afford to spend on them. Add in additional funds to cover dinners out, social gatherings, holiday outfits, charitable giving and other expenses. Be sure to set numbers for these expenses that are reasonable based on your financial situation.

You can make simple holiday budget plan. It’ll help you save, prioritize and cut out all those little extras that can really add up.

2. Stick To Cash

While setting a budget is important, it is just as important to stick to it!  Don’t allow yourself wiggle room by bringing your credit cards along when Eid Mubarak shopping. While this might seem a little extreme–after all, what if you don’t bring enough money, or decide you need something else while out and about–bringing cash only is the surest way to make sure your resolve doesn’t wane in the face of all those Idul Fitri bargains.

Dont be hesitate to take the time to really crunch the numbers when you go shopping, and you may even surprise yourself by coming in under budget this year.  You could even make it a personal challenge! How great would it be to have a little extra cash on hand for a fun family activity or special treat

3. Get Crafty instead of Monetary Gifts

Plan gift and other shopping outings in a way where you can shop strategically in order to save gas money. One of the best ways to stretch your holiday budget is to look for simple ways to do it yourself (DIY).  Handmade gifts are not only cost effective, the are usually far more appreciated than just another trinket from the store.  Don’t underestimate the meaning and sentiment in a hand-crafted item.  Even if you aren’t the crafty type, you can find a myriad of extremely simple ways you can print, snip, create and make something special for loved ones.  You can even get creative–and thrifty–with your wrapping.  A roll of inexpensive white butcher paper and red & green crayons or colored pencils can make for charming DIY wrapping paper!

4. Focus on Family Time

Holiday time means lots of activities—from plays, pageants, holiday-themed entertainment, an entire budget can easily be blown on just a few activities. This year, try to make it about spending time as a family.

Break out the board games one night, a deck of cards, or even a puzzle. Family memories are made through simple times and interaction. Just getting everyone to look up from their screens and interact and have fun can really be the highlight of the season.

5. Save on Food

Big family dinners can get pricey fast, especially if you’re not paying attention. Taking the time to plan your menus in advance and stock up on food will go a long way in keeping your costs down.

Keep snacks handy in order to avoid high expenditures at restaurants and happy hour gatherings.

When you make holiday dinners, don’t be afraid to shop your pantry and incorporate ingredients that you have on hand. Also, there’s no rule that you have to use a brand-name ingredient if you’re putting it in a recipe. No one will be able to tell once it’s cooked.  Luckily with all the great grocery sales that happen this time of year, baking can be one of the best bargains of the season as well. Stock up on rice, meat, chicken, flour, sugar and other basics few weeks before holiday.

By following the above tips, you can bring extra joy to your holiday season by staying within your budget and avoiding the dreaded Idul Fitri holiday credit card bill. What are your tips for keeping expenditures during the holiday season?