So you've made a list and set a clear budget. You've completed the first step of planning a successful holiday shopping trip where you can avoid overspending.
However, the hardest part is sticking to the plan. In other words, you must stick to the budget you put in place and avoid common temptations like impulse purchases.
This is the time of year where everyone is spending and advertisers are milking it. Hopefully you survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday without a scratch, but if you still have some holiday shopping to do, be sure to keep these tips in mind when trying to stick to your budget.
Be Held Accountable for Sticking to Your List
Making a list is one thing, but you must make the extra effort to stick to it. When you go shopping, bring someone with you who will support your goal of sticking to your list.
When you start to think about making an extra purchase for something extra, decide to leave the store early instead.
Beware of Retailer Tricks
There will tons of great sales at your favorite stores this season no doubt, but it's important to know which ones are actually worthwhile. If a retailer is offering a discount on an item you need or that's on your list, that's fine but the thing I hate is buy-one get-one deals.
Ultimately, you're spending more money to take advantage of these deals and even though you're getting more stuff, it may not even be something you want or need.
When I was shopping for some new shoes for my husband the other day, the store I was in had a Bogo deal which is buy-one get-one-half- off (of equal or lesser value). I only needed one pair of shoes so I didn't use the deal which would have caused me to spend much more than I'd budgeted for.
Another retailer trick I hate is the itty bitty fine print on their storefront ads. One clothing store had a big poster on their window that said 50% off. When I actually got in the store I realized this promotion was only valid on ‘select items' and I didn't need the items that were on sale but I was already it the store so it was tempting to buy something.
Avoid these tricks and shop smart if you want to stick to you budget not make any impulse purchases.
Load Cash on a Prepaid Card
If you feel you might overspend with your credit card, leave it at home and load your cash onto a prepaid card. Carrying around a big wad of cash while shopping for the holidays is not safe.
Find a prepaid Visa card that doesn't have any unnecessary fees and provides fraud protection so you can shop carefree with only the money you have.
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Reduce the Amount of Things You Purchase for Yourself
How many times do you pick up something for yourself when you go holiday shopping? I know I do this a lot because I like to take advantage of sales and I hate to bombard people with things they should purchase for me.
However, splurging on yourself can really hike your spending up when your main intention is to shop for others for the holidays. You can solve this problem by making you are involved in a gift exchange. If your family or group or friends do gift exchanges, stick to your life of gifts for others and tell them what you want so they can purchase it for you. You can even ask for gift cards for Christmas so you can purchase the things you want or need.
It's so much better to gift and receive gifts with other people than to do it alone.
Sticking to your budget during the holiday shopping season can be tough, but it's not impossible. Take action by utilizing some of these tips to control your spending and eliminate financial stress.
How do you plan to stick to your budget this holiday season? Are there any tips and strategies you use to avoid overspending when you're shopping for gifts?