How to Stick to Your Holiday Budget

You've made a list and set a clear holiday budget for shopping this season. Congratulations! Setting a budget is the first step in planning a successful holiday shopping season to avoid overspending. However, the hardest part is sticking to the plan and avoiding common temptations like impulse purchases.

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How to Stick to Your Holiday Budget When Shopping for GiftsThis 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 Accountable for Your Holiday Budget

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, 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 on your list, take advantage of that. However, watch out for buy-one-get-one (BOGO) deals. Often, they will lure you into spending more money to take advantage of the deal. 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 deal for 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 is the itty bitty fine print on storefront ads. One clothing store had a big poster labeled 50% off on their window. 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. Since I was already inside the store it was tempting to buy something on sale.

Avoid these tricks and shop smart if you want to stick to your holiday budget instead of making 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 may not be best for you.

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.  Keep in mind, your prepaid card will only have a specific amount on it and you'll need to keep track of how much money is left, the retailer will not do this for you. If you need to spend more than is left on the card, be prepared to have a secondary form of payment ready.

Limit Purchasing Things for Yourself

How many times do you pick up something out for yourself when you are holiday shopping? I know I do this a lot because I like to take advantage of sales.

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 suggesting a gift exchange. If your family or group of friends do a gift exchange, you can suggest something you would like! You can even ask for gift cards for Christmas so you can purchase the things you want or need. Be sure to stick to your list of gifts for others. It's so much better to gift and receive gifts with other people than to do it alone.

More Ways to Stick to Your Holiday Budget

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. If you have a tip, please share it!

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?

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