Money & Career

Gretchen Rubin’s Tip For Not Blowing Your Holiday Budget

The happiness guru says it's all about doing what works for you.

Holiday shopping brings with it a certain rush — grabbing toys and booze off shelves at warp speed, yes, but also, anticipating the excited faces of toy-and-booze recipients. And then the comedown: the bills. Maybe even debt. How does this seem to happen every year, you say to yourself, giant hot toddy in hand.

But hark! There’s a deceptively simple way to mitigate any financial fallout. On a late November edition of her podcast, Happier, Gretchen Rubin called worrying about overspending a definite “happiness stumbling block” (preach!) and suggested a small yet effective tip for reining in your holiday spending before it tips into excess.

“People say that, when you’re going shopping, [you should] always take cash, because people feel the pain of it going out of their hands,” Rubin says. Others, though, insist that a credit card is the way to go, as it allows you to track your purchases in tidy statement form.

Here’s Rubin’s revelation: there’s no right or wrong answer. Instead of deferring to finance experts, who are often in the cash camp, the key is to pick the spending method that works for you. Whether cash or credit is a more effective “impulse control device,” she explains, just do you. Or, “know yourself better.” Happy shopping!