It is not difficult at all to go into your Christmas shopping with the best of intentions, only to realize at the day’s end that though you meant to do a good thing, you have actually overspent. Now, the gifts are wonderful but the only one that you are giving yourself and your household members is a load of debt and/or spending that you never intended to and probably can’t really afford to.
With many families feeling the strain of the currently changing economy, it is more important than ever to keep holiday spending under control and not go into interest-bearing credit debt. This can take the joyful spirit out of the season entirely and when it’s all over, you will be left with financial stress and strain. The following five tips will help you to keep your gift-giving fun and happy, without overspending.
1-Shop early and throughout the year. This is one of the best ways to avoid overspending as long as you keep track of what you already have and what you still need every time you go out. This helps you to take advantage of the various sales throughout the year and it also keeps you out of the stores once they are filled with holiday consumerism that is designed by professionals to encourage more frivolous buying.
2-Assess your income and expenses to figure out ahead of time what you can actually afford to spend comfortably. After you have done this, come up with your budget overall and divided among the people on your gift shopping list. Stick to it!
3-When you do your shopping, go equipped with a list of who you are buying for and what you are looking for. Look at the circulars and other advertising beforehand so that you know where you can get the best price on each item.
4-Take advantage of those Black Friday sales. It is tough for many people to get up before the crack of dawn, but you can save a substantial amount if you have big ticket items to buy. You can also earn a bit by offering to do other people’s shopping while you’re there. People actually do pay others to take care of their shopping needs on this day since they will still come out ahead financially.
5-Shop online! Sites like www.ebay.com, www.amazon.com, and www.overstock.com will often have just what you are looking for at a much lower price. You will also avoid the temptation to pick up things that you see on the store shelves, but didn’t intend to buy in the first place.