With the holiday season fast approaching, many people will end up finding themselves in debt with the cost of gift giving, travel and entertaining. More often than not, it’s the time of year when people will over indulge, leaving a hefty holiday hangover to deal with!
Simple tips to control holiday spending
Set a budget for buying gifts
Without a spending limit, you can easily max out your credit cards or charge more than you can afford. Before you shop, figure out how much you can reasonably afford and stick to it.
Save money for gifts
Save a little each month before the holiday. When you hit the mall, you will be spending cash you already have or if you choose to use credit, you will have the money available to pay off the balance right away.
Make a shopping list
Create a list of all the people you intend to buy for and the possible items/gifts. Researching and comparison shopping of the approximate costs of each gift will help you stick to your budget and avoid impulse buys.
Keep Track of your holiday spending
Keep a record of what you’ve spent and compare it to the list you created. If you start shopping early, it can be easy to lose sight of your spending. Keep all your receipts in a single envelope and periodically check to make sure you are sticking to your budget.
Resist retail temptation
Retail stores will often encourage you to sign up for their store credit cards and in some cases offer a discount on your purchase. Keep in mind that applying for new credit affects your credit score and increases the possibility of charging more than you can afford.