Please contain your excitement and hold tight to your pocketbooks because the holidays are right around the corner! Let’s bust out some holiday shopping tips!
It’s important to get a head start on getting your finances in order prior to any spending you plan to do. Planning ahead not only saves your pockets but it also helps with keeping your sanity.
If you have already been planning your gift-giving carefully throughout the year, you’re ahead of the game—and we’re secretly jealous of you for it!
This year, you can avoid overspending by keeping these six CGS tips in mind while shopping.
#1 Observe the Quality
Often when we are shopping, we go off the appearance of the item. At a glance the item may look nice, but actually take your time to observe the quality of the item before purchasing it.
The last thing you need on your plate during the holiday season is a damaged item that you have to return. Sometimes looks can be deceiving, so we encourage you not to rush and honestly take your time while shopping this year.
If there’s only one damaged item left on the shelf, ask if they have any more in the back or at a different location. If both options are a no, see if you can get it for a discounted price.
#2 Do Not Stress
To avoid going into debt, you have to have a plan in place. First rule: do not stress. Stress will literally bring more problems your way.
When you stress, you are more likely to impulse buy and that’s never good because you’re just tossing items in your cart without paying attention.
Stress is such a silent budget killer! Don’t expose yourself to that kind of beating.
#3 Check the Price
Trust and believe your loved ones would not ask you to put yourself in a financially risky situation just to get them expensive gifts. Being mindful of the price tag doesn’t make you cheap.
As an alternative to overspending at the holidays, perhaps everyone can set a limit on what they plan to spend. This way no one is left feeling like they ripped a hole in their savings.
#4 Track Spending
Keep track of your spending when making purchases to avoid overspending. One guideline that always seems to work is making a list and sticking to it.
When you have a specific idea of what you are willing to spend, you are less likely to pull from your savings account.
If it is easier for you to put all the money in a specific account and use that that account while shopping, by all means do just that! Keep track of your spending as you go so you can stay on track with your plan.
#5 Use Reward Points
Some credit cards have really nice perks! Some credit cards have cash back options in addition to point and mile cards.
With a cash back credit card the card issuer puts money directly into your account, which you can then use to spend on holiday gifts!
Of course, how you get the miles, points, or cash depends on the card. Nonetheless if you have a credit card that has either of these features take full advantage of the rewards they offer to keep your holiday spending in check.
#6 Plan for Shipping
Prepare ahead and do not wait last minutes for gifts that have to be delivered. The sooner you want an item to arrive, the more shopping will cost.
We often fail to take the shipping fees into consideration when shopping online. For expedited delivery, factor in fees to be a little higher bringing your total to a number you may not have planned.
Keep in mind that shipping a package across the United States costs much more in fuel and labor costs than shipping it a few miles away, thus incurring higher shipping costs.
Shopping early, shopping local, and avoiding high shipping costs can keep your holiday spending in check.
Related: 5 Reasons Not to Go Into Debt During the Holidays
There is no such thing as buying a person’s love so don’t you dare go broke trying to do so. Whether you are spending money on birthday celebrations or holiday festivities, make sure you stay inside your budget!
What helps you stay on budget during the holidays?
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