Christmas is the largest gift-giving holiday season and accounts for 30% of total annual sales. Americans spend 9 times the amount of money on shopping during Christmas than any other holiday season. The holiday spirit makes you spend on gifts, decorations, parties and meals. However, you may regret this overspending later on. It could mean higher credit card statements, huge amounts of money spent on unnecessary items and increased financial stress.
Here are 7 tips to avoid overspending, financial stress and regret during Christmas:
Create a Spending Budget
Before you start shopping, create a budget and divide it into different categories-gifts, food, travel or decorations. Decide how much you want to spend on gifts, food, and decorations. Make changes in the categories if the numbers don’t match.
Make a List
Make a list of the items you want to buy. Write down the details for whom you want to buy the gifts and what you are buying. Include your budget in this list to only spend how much you have set in the budget. Avoid items that are out of your budget.
Be Aware of Shopping Tricks
Even after making a budget and list, you can overspend as you get many attractive online deals and discounts during the holiday season. Retailers employ many tricks to force you into impulse buying. Be wary of these tricks to avoid overspending.
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Don’t Use Credit Cards
Avoid the temptation of using credit cards. Paying by cash will help you avoid overspending on unnecessary items. Only spend what you can afford. Using the money you have on hand will keep you accountable.
Don’t Buy Gifts for Yourself
Self-gifting has become one of the latest trends over the recent years. You tend to buy for yourself when you are out shopping for others. Limit this. Be careful while buying gift cards as you might end up shopping for yourself.
Cut Down Convenience Costs
Convenience expenses are the hidden costs that are incurred during the holiday season. While shopping, you tend to make unnecessary purchases like- coffee drinks, smoothies, fast food. Try to cut down these minor expenses.
Track Your Spending
Track your expenses to avoid overspending. Just record how much you have spent at the end of the day and compare it with the budget and list you have created. Stick to your budget – it will help you reduce your holiday spending.
Avoiding overspending requires you to be extra careful and sensible during your Christmas shopping. Save on and enjoy your holidays!