Each holiday season, we love spoiling those we care about. Thanksgiving is a blast, but the minute the table is cleared, it’s off to the big box stores for the Black Friday deals. It’s real easy to overspend when it comes to holiday shopping. According to a Gallup study, a third of consumers expected to spend over $1000 on gifts last year. While that might seem like a great idea in December, there may be some regrets come January. If you’d like to avoid destroying your budget with holiday spending, here are few things to consider…
Stick to your budget: It can be really easy to add a few extra items to your shopping cart when you see big sales with hundreds of dollars in savings. It can be even easier if you’re shopping online. The key here is to plan ahead. Figure out how much you’ve set aside to spend and don’t allow yourself to make any last-minute or impulse purchases. Think about who you’re buying for and pick out something within your budget that you know they’ll love. If you’re under-budget, pick out some smaller items or stocking-stuffers until you’ve met your spending goal.
Start early: Often I find myself out shopping within a few days of Christmas. You won’t find nearly as many deals on December 22 as you would in November. Plus, even if you can find exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll probably be in such a hurry to finish your shopping, that you won’t get a great deal. If you start coming up with ideas in October or November, you’ll have plenty of time to do research and find the best deals. Don’t overpay for last-minute gifts that you could have easily secured weeks ago.
Don’t lose those receipts: There’s nothing worse than buying someone a sweater and then finding out you bought the wrong size. No matter what you’re buying, there’s a chance it’s going to need to be returned. If you don’t have receipts, it’s quite possible the store won’t refund your money. The last thing you want to do is have to buy something twice.
If you’re done shopping, congrats. If you’ve started but haven’t finished, that’s probably pretty normal. If you haven’t started yet, save me a place in line.