As the holiday season is the time for gift giving and spending time with loved ones, the added pressure of purchasing gifts and spending money can be overwhelming. It is normal for people to overspend during the holiday season, creating additional stress as we move into the new year.
However, with a little planning and well-thought out shopping, you can avoid drowning in debt while still giving the perfect gifts to your loved ones. Below are some money-saving holiday season shopping tips:
Set a budget and stick to it:
It can be easy to overspend if you do not set a budget beforehand. Before you spend money on gifts, make sure it is within your budget and what you can afford, then stick to spending only that amount of money.
Track your spending as you go:
Once you have created your budget, it will be easy to track your spending. As you spend, compare what you have spent against the money you allocated to shopping. By tracking your spending, the urge to spend on last minute purchases will decrease.
Do your ‘homework’:
Before blindly purchasing a gift, check out competing sellers to search for the best price. Also, learn about what features you value the most in a product, read reviews, and decide if it is the best fit for the person you are giving it to.
Use cash or debit cards as much as possible:
As most holiday shopping is done using credit cards, it delays the financial burden, encouraging you to buy more. By using cash or a debit card, as soon as you buy the gift the money is immediately taken out of your wallet or bank account.
Know what the return policies are:
Many stores change their return policies during the holidays, decreasing the amount of time you have to make your return. Before purchasing something, both in store and online, ask what the store’s policy is. Nothing is worse than buying clothes that are too small and not being able to return them.
With the added stress of COVID-19, budgeting and saving money around the holidays is even more important.