It’s holiday crunch time again. Time to turn our thoughts to holiday parties, holiday traffic and finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list without putting yourself into debt. Most people wait until the last minute to shop but cost-effective holiday planning takes time. Think of it like running a marathon. You wouldn’t throw on runners and hit the pavement without some preparation or you could risk injury. It’s the same for holiday shopping. A little smart preparation can help you avoid injuring your bank account or credit card. The following tips will help you balance the Christmas spending race:
(1) Set an overall holiday spending limit. Take into account all presents, decorations, gift wrap, groceries, alcohol and other incidentals. Whatever you do, stick to your budget!
(2) Make a gift list with a gift idea beside each person’s name and assign an exact dollar amount. This will avoid impulse buys and overspending.
(3) Cross items and people off your list as you shop so you don’t buy for anyone twice.
(4) Look for ways to save. Read flyers for sales and take advantage of the tax-free incentives that merchants and shopping malls offer. Research on-line offers.
(5) Quit shopping when you’ve bought the last item on your list or that list will continue to grow and so will your holiday debt. Remember what debt you create today you will have to pay it back in the future.
Keep the spending within reason. Most people don’t remember what they got last year for gifts. Do you? Make the holidays about the giving and not about the gift.
Merry Christmas from Salyzyn & Associates
Leanne Salyzyn, President
For more holiday saving tips, check out our 24 Day Financial Advent Countdown Calendar on Salyzyn Instagram, Facebook, Twitter @mydebtfix