Saturday, December 10, 2016

Avoid Overspending During the Holidays

Get in the Christmas spirit! The holidays are the time for indulgences, to treat yourself! Don't be a Scrooge!

Sale! Buy now, pay later!

Temptation to overspend abounds, especially during the holidays. Here are some tips to keep it under control while you're shopping:

Make a list. And then stick to it. Decide in advance whom you will shop for, and how much you are prepared to spend.

Compare prices ahead of time. If you know what items you plan to buy, check around online and also peruse the ads for the brick-and-mortar stores in your area. Some stores will match a competitor's price, so take the ads with you, or print out the online display.

Set a budget. If you view a credit card as a magic plastic wand, leave it at home. Bring only the amount of cash you've allocated for your shopping trip. Or if you're uncomfortable carrying a lot of cash, load a prepaid card with your gift budget. Once it's gone, you're done.

Be realistic about your weaknesses. If you know that, for every gift you buy for someone on your list, you'll find something you just have to have for yourself, add your name to your shopping list, and budget accordingly.

Eat a healthy meal before you shop. That way, you'll have more energy and be less tempted to refuel on overpriced junk food at the mall.

And lastly, if you do overspend, don't beat yourself up. Just like a dieter overeating at a holiday feast, don't use your slip-up as an excuse to declare failure and cave in to temptation for the rest of the season. Get back on plan tomorrow.

How are you managing holiday shopping? I would love to hear your comments.

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