Tips to Curb Overspending on Holiday Shopping

It’s the most expensive time of the year
it’s the pri-priciest season of all
with those holiday purchases and gay happy sales
when you need to give friends gifts
it’s the pri-priciest season of all

If you’re wondering, yes, that is a rendition of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” that talks about the biggest issue of the upcoming holiday season – overspending.

If you’re someone who tends to fall into the traps of companies and marketers who take advantage of the warm and fuzzy feelings that surround Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the like – listen up! While spending all that money around holidays might feel good for the time, the financial burden is eventually going to catch up to you when the Christmas tree comes down and the lenders come knocking on your door!

Did you know that people admit to buying things around the holiday season that they never would have even considered at any other time?

That’s why you need to be cautious about how much you spend on your holiday shopping. It might seem like brands are offering crazy deals for everything from Black Friday to Hanukkah, but the same rule you apply to your purchases at any other time of the year should also apply here. Namely, is it something you need? Considering that impulse purchases make the bulk of the unnecessary shopping expenses, this is very important!

That’s not to say you shouldn’t buy gifts for your loved ones (or yourself) or enjoy the holiday season. But you should be conscious about keeping your spending in check so you don’t end up dealing with the mess afterward. Here are some handy tips to help you reduce your holiday shopping expenses:

Make a List and Budget

Like any other shopping list, jot down all the people you want to buy gifts for. According to how close they are to you (or how much you like them), allot a certain amount that you are willing to spend on each person.

Once you have that list, tally up all the amounts so that you have your gift budget handy when you go out to shop. This will help prevent overspending as you already know how many gifts you need to buy and how much you should be spending on them.

Don’t find yourself obligated to include distant cousins or every single coworker just because you feel guilty. Of course, if they are a close family member, it can be rude to leave them out, especially if you buy gifts for everyone else. Making a list will also help you avoid such blunders and help prevent last-minute hassled spending when you realize you forgot someone!

Comparison Shopping is a Must

There are so many sales and deals that pop up all around the holiday season that it almost makes your head spin! The good news, though, is that almost all retailers now have online stores where you can scroll and browse prices from the comfort of your home. Don’t miss out on this advantage!

Even if you prefer in-person shopping, don’t just stick to one store. We recommend window shopping first so you can take note of all the items that are available and also compare prices between stores. Getting the lowest price on one item can save you “only” a few bucks, but considering that you are going to be buying multiple items, the savings can certainly add up.

Start Early

Some would consider November too late to be early, but now’s better than never! Getting your holiday shopping done and out of the way will allow you to truly relax and enjoy the season with your friends and family. If you have planned a list of people to buy gifts for and also have an idea of what you want to get them, you can keep track of the item so that you can grab it if and when it goes on sale. It is also true that it can be hectic trying to get shopping done at the last minute as things can get sold out or have ridiculously marked-up prices.

Quality, Not Quantity

It’s nice to buy people expensive gifts, but you can be sure that it won’t make as much of an impact as something that is heartfelt and meaningful. We tend to think of the holidays as the time to go all out, but that’s not the spirit of the season.

Buy your family gifts that they will treasure (and use) for a long time. This is especially true with kids as they outgrow things very quickly, be it clothes or toys or hobbies, so don’t exceed your budget just for a bit of momentary materialistic happiness. Your family will appreciate quality time spent making memories more than something flashy you splurged on so make these days count!