In a few months, the holiday season will be here. Once again, we’ll be put in a lot of stress getting gifts for our loved ones, preparing meals for gatherings, and managing our finances. Among these tasks, the latter is probably the most overwhelming one.
If you overspent your budget last year and didn’t pay off your Christmas bills until Easter, then you need some advice on how to hang on to your money. Expenses during the holidays easily add up. So it is important to set your budget and stick to it. Otherwise, you’ll end up stressing about your finances after the holidays.
To save you from falling into the holiday spending trap, here are some of the best shopping practices for the coming season.
- Make a list. Before the holiday season arrives, be like Santa and make a list. Not a naughty or nice list but a shopping list. Write down all the important thing you need to buy. What gifts do you plan to buy? No matter how small the gift or purchase may be, include it in your list along with the maximum amount you’re willing to spend. This will help you manage your holiday budget.
- Pre-shop. Don’t hit the stores without doing your homework. Research about market prices before you hit the stores. Call around and go online to find better deals. You should also consider going to a store where you can find everything you need to save from transportation costs.
- Debit, don’t credit. Credit cards can easily have you drowning in debts. Be smart and use debit cards instead of credit cards if you don’t have cash on hand. A debit card automatically forces you to spend only what you have, and allows you to avoid paying interest. Leave the credit cards at home.
- Shop early on. Don’t do a last minute shopping as this can mean high expenses. Shopping early can help you save money because the demands for goods isn’t that high. Keep your eyes open all year round for items friends and family would like. But don’t forget to place your advance purchases on a hidden place so your gifts will remain a surprise to the recipients.