The holiday shopping season is upon us! Although it’s nice to buy gifts for others, it can lead to financial trouble. Avoid getting into consumer debt by staying on budget with these tips.
- Do your research. Before you hit the stores, call around & go online to find the best deals. Save on transportation costs by consolidating your shopping trips.
- Make a holiday shopping budget. Track and manage all your seasonal expenses. Examples of these expenses include food, gifts, & special events. Determine how much you want to spend and what you do spend in each category. The goal is to stay as close to your budget as possible.
- Use the right payment method. Use cash, debit cards, or checks to make your purchases for the holidays. Spend only the money you have. Avoid using credit cards. This will prevent you from racking up large bills with high interest. You don’t want to spend the new year paying off unnecessary debt.
- Create a checklist. Plan a list of gifts ahead of time for your friends & family. Don’t buy to buy – only buy what someone wants. Buy them before the holiday rush. Always carry this checklist with you when shopping. Don’t be tempted by flash sales and bargains. This way, you will only purchase what you need.
- Challenge yourself. Giving feels good, but don’t overspend. Try spending less than you did last year on holiday shopping. Scope out deals & eliminate unnecessary purchases. Do not buy extra things just because you know that person will love them. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!