Have you ever heard of the myth that the spirit responsible for excess spending comes around once a year, December precisely? But as much as you want to dispose of it and concentrate on more genuine stuff, there’s no denying that during Christmas the propensity to do more with money is unavoidably high. It’s almost like a spell.

Yuletide can be a trap that may hold you down even beyond January once you fall into it. You end up broke and forced to borrow until you get back on your feet, perhaps months into the new year.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. It won’t be if you follow these simple ‘don’ts’:

Don’t start December without a budget.

Agreed, ‘flexing’ and celebration are allowed; it’s that time of year to generally have fun and give yourself some nice treats. But make sure all of that is covered in your plan. Going beyond the plan is calling for trouble.

Don’t do heavy withdrawals.

Except for a certain planned project, as much as you can, avoid withdrawing so much cash for Christmas. Apart from the security risk involved, much physical money during this time might translate into more excess spending if you don’t watch it.

Don’t try to impress with many gifts.

Since it’s a holiday period, loved ones and friends will truly appreciate your visits, and as such, you may not need to buy a lot of expensive gifts to make up for weeks and months of being away from them due to work. Remember, nothing can replace your presence at such an important season. So give your folks the best gift ever: your precious time.

Merry spending, oh, sorry, I meant Christmas!