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With the Holiday season quickly approaching, it can be easy to overspend while in the holiday spirit. It’s the season of giving and we all want to put a smile on our family and friend’s faces! Sadly, its also the season most people rack of enormous amounts of debt! Just remember, once the holiday season is over you’ll be responsible for all of the debt you accumulate! Use the following tips to avoid spending too much for this year!
Before you do any holiday shopping decide how much you plan on spending total. This will include gifts, travel, decorations, etc. Like any other budget you set it’s important to be honest about the money you intend to spend. Create a list and set a limit for each person you plan on purchasing a gift for and stick to it! Don’t budge on the dollar amount you set for each person. During the holidays we tend to splurge more; this year try to break that habit if you want to start the new year off right financially!
Black Friday is the official shopping kickoff for the holiday season! Of course it can be fun getting out there looking for great deals and sales with family and friends but shopping online saves you time, money and gas! How many times have you gone to the store for one item and leave with several items that you never intended on getting. Happens to me all the time! I go in the store for a particular item and before I know it I’ve spent $500.00! This is even more likely to happen during the holiday season. We get mesmerized by all of the lights, christmas music, and big ticket items they strategically place throughout the store! Shop online to avoid this. By shopping online you’ll be able to stick to your shopping plans without detouring plus Amazon Prime offers free shipping to have everything delivered to your doorstep!
Search For Coupons.
Whether you are shopping online or in store, always make a habit of searching coupons for the items you plan to purchase. Groupon and Retail Me Not usually have great legitimate coupons and deals. I google “coupons for such & such company” before each and every purchase! While I’m standing in the check out line guess what I am doing? Googling coupon codes! Last year for Christmas I was able to get top name brand items for half of the price by shopping online and using coupons!
Track Your Spending!
Its easy to lose track of how much money you have spent during the holidays, especially when you are using credit cards or debit cards. Sometimes you may not even want to see the damage, but you have to face it! Check your balances online after a day of shopping. I would suggest even separating the money you budgeted for holiday spending so you are less likely to overspend. You don’t want to wait to assess the damage to realize you’ve spent entirely too much.
Don’t Go Overboard!
People with children are typically guilty of this! We love to see the overflow of presents under the tree while we anticipate the big smile on our children’s faces when they see everything “santa” got them! Just remember, it is only one day! After that day it will be back to reality and you don’t want that reality to turn into a financial nightmare! I usually do one big ticket item that is within my budget and a couple of smaller gifts. This saves time and money! Don’t get into the habit of trying to make your children or even family happy at the expense of your finances. This is not admirable; it’s irresponsible. Instead, create an experience and traditions that your children will never forget! This after all is what the holidays are all about!