While the holidays are the time to love and give back, it can also be the most stressful time of the year. Many people overspend during this time and must deal with additional debt in the New Year. To avoid this, try following some of these tips:
Set Price Limits
When thinking about who you plan on getting gifts for try to set a price limit for each person. By writing down who is going to get what and how much you will spend per person, you can keep your holiday spending under control. Don’t forget to consider what your personal finances are like at the time. If you don’t factor that in there is a good chance you will overspend.
A good way to help you potentially save money this holiday season is to use your phone to price check the gifts you are looking to purchase. By price checking, you may be able to find the gift you want to get at a different store. In addition to this, most stores use a price-match policy. What this means is that if you find the product you want to purchase for a cheaper price at a different store, the store you are at will match the price of the product so that it is the same.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
One of the main reasons why people overspend around the holiday season is because they wait until the last minute to shop. By rushing to get everything at the last minute, you are more likely to overspend which can lead to an increase in stress. By getting started earlier on your shopping, you are more likely to avoid this issue.
Stay on Top of Your Spending
The key to not getting yourself into debt from holiday spending is to stay on of all your spending. This includes getting your bills in on time and constantly checking your bank account. Most banks offer an app for your smartphone or tablet that allows you to look at exactly how much money you have in each account. This way you can keep track of your budget by seeing which payments have been cleared, which are pending, and your exact balance up to the cent.
Consider Homemade Gifts
If you are looking to avoid overspending, consider passing out homemade gifts to your loved ones. Homemade presents are not only a great way to save money, they also make for some memorable gifts. While these types of gifts may not work for everyone on your list, they may be a good option for some. Some good examples of homemade gifts may be scrapbooks and framed photos. Regardless of what you make, the recipient will be grateful for all the time and effort you put into making the gift.
Save Ahead for Expensive Gifts
If you know some of the gifts you will be giving fall along the more expensive side, it may be a good idea to begin putting money aside for those gifts. By doing this, you may have a better chance of not depleting your accounts and in turn going into debt. One of the best tools to help you do this is to use automatic transfers, which most banks offer. This process can allow you to save without thinking about it.
Avoid Shopping Sprees
Many retailers use the holiday season to entice customers to purchase more than they need with bring lights, music, and deals that seem unbelievable. These factors can cause consumers to shop more impulsively than normal. On top of this, it may be hard to stop shopping once you start. To counteract this, make sure you stick to your shopping list and leave the store if you begin to feel tempted to make some off-list purchases. By doing this, you can avoid overspending this holiday season.
Don’t Forget Shipping Costs
Many people choose to participate in “Cyber Monday” and buy all their gifts online. Some products seem to be available for a cheaper price online than in the stores, so it makes sense to want to go down that avenue. The only issue with this is that many people forget to add the cost of shipping to these purchases, which can significantly increase the overall price. On top of the cost of shipping, you may find yourself dealing with delivery or service fees, depending on when you want your packages delivered. If you don’t want to deal with these fees, keep in mind that many retailers offer shipping for free.
While the sales that retailers offer throughout the holiday season allow you to get some great deals, they are not the only way to go about doing so. Next time you get ready to do some shopping, either online or in-store, make sure you do a quick Internet search for coupons and coupon codes from your favorite stores. Coupons can really make a difference when it comes to saving money during the holidays. If you have a smartphone, you may be able to get an app that can show you the coupons offered from a specific store that can be scanned right off your phone.
Use Cash Whenever You Can
The final tip that we have that can help you save this holiday season is to use cash whenever you can. Given all the things that are going on during this time, it can become hard to remember every transaction that is made on your card. By paying with cash, you don’t have to worry about forgotten payments surprising you.