With the holidays approaching, you’re probably feeling a little tingle in the wallet that’s urging you to spend. While the holidays are the perfect time for gift-giving and reciprocity, people often spend beyond their means. To help make sure this doesn’t happen to you, here are some helpful tips to control over-spending around the holidays.
Before you start buying gifts and scheduling gatherings, assess your financial situation and make a budget. This will help you maintain a realistic outlook. If you have set aside funds throughout the year, you’re already ahead of the game. If not, consider saving a small amount of money from each paycheck for next year.
Watch Those Credit Cards
If you absolutely have to use your credit card for a purchase, calculate how much money you will make in January so you can make sure to pay it off. Don’t fall into the trap of spending more than you intended due to credit card interest.
If you find yourself using a credit card, try to limit your spending to a single card. Using multiple cards can result in confusion, which increases your chances of missing a payment and getting hit with a late fee and interest. Additionally, make sure you check your statement regularly. The holidays are rife with scams, and you’ll want to alert your bank as soon as possible if you fall victim to one.
Make a List
Make a list that includes the name of each person you are buying a gift for, what that gift is, and how much it costs. If you are attending events or gatherings that require entrance fees, make sure to include that as well.
Having a comprehensive list of gifts and amounts will help you avoid impulsive decisions that could cost you more money. Be wary of marketing schemes and incentives that goad you to spend more than you intended.
Waiting until Christmas Eve to do your holiday shopping is never a good idea. But it’s an especially bad idea for your wallet. That’s because rushed shopping often leads to impulsive decisions, which will likely end up costing you more money. Give yourself enough time to browse deals and make online comparisons. Plenty of apps will allow you to compare prices at different stores.
Be Wary When Shopping Online
Shopping online comes with its own set of precautions. Here are a few of them.
Don’t Forget Sales Tax and Shipping
People tend to focus on the item’s price when ordering online and often forget that sales tax and shipping are calculated at checkout. Depending on the item, these added costs could drastically increase the price of the gift.
Is Everything Included?
Before you finalize your online order, make sure the item includes everything it normally would if you were to purchase it at a store. Businesses will sometimes ship items without accessories in order to cut their own costs or because those accessories are only supplied to stores.
Happy Careful Spending This Holiday Season
With these helpful tips to control over-spending this holiday season, gift shopping can be fun with little stress. Enjoy yourself, and have a happy holiday!