We’ve all done it. Waited until last minute to do our holiday shopping only to overspend on gifts for loved ones, leaving us with extra credit card debt and buyers remorse. While the holidays prove time and again to be an expensive time of year for many, they don’t have to be. Here are some tips to help keep you from overspending this holiday season.
- Set a Budget – and Stick to It.
It is always best to begin with a budget. Once you have your budget set, take the time to contemplate how you will best utilize that budget amount to get all of your holiday shopping done efficiently and wisely. Avoid going over budget – even just a little – as this can lead to falling into the trap of overspending.
- Shop Year Around
Did you know that you can buy holiday gifts for family and friends year around? Most of us often forget this fact and like to put off our holiday shopping until the last minute when the malls are extra hectic and the clock is ticking. While this stressful strategy may work for some, finding and purchasing gifts year around can help you avoid the extra spending as well as the chaos of the holiday season. Just remember to stick to your budget!
- Get Crafty.
They say that it’s the thought that counts, so why not get crafty and create a homemade present for someone you love? If you find you’re not the crafty type, enlist the help of a friend who is, or offer to do a favor. We recommend checking out Pinterest for some great DIY ideas your friends and family are sure to love!
- Look for Deals
During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s important to look for the best deals on gift items before doing your shopping. There are typically deals happening everywhere, so take some time to sit down with your phone, tablet, or computer to research the best deals for the items you need. When shopping in store, try an app like Retail Me Not for any coupons or extra store savings.
- Watch Your Calendar
While it’s tempting to attend every holiday party or gathering that you’ve been invited to, you must remember that these events are typically costly. Save a little extra this year by skipping one or two parties or holiday dinners. Your wallet will thank you for it!
- Plan Ahead for Travel
Do you travel somewhere for the holiday season? Plan ahead to figure out what is best financially for you and your travel companions to avoid the high holiday rates and travel prices. You may also want to weigh and measure your luggage ahead of time to avoid extra fees and skip the upgrades this time as well.
- Keep Track for Next Year
Regardless of what your holiday shopping strategy may be, it is important to reflect on what you spent in total to help you plan better for next year’s festivities. If you find yourself overspending, look to what caused this and how you can fix your budget to help keep you on track next time. Once you have a total that you are happy with, you may want to open an extra savings account to set money aside all year. This will help keep you on track as well as save you from overspending.