This year is a tough financial year for many of us, but with the holidays approaching we may be tempted into bad spending habits. Just because the time to gather and exchange gifts is coming, doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget. Avoid credit debt this holiday season by following a few simple strategies:
Plan your purchases – many people make the mistake of going gift shopping without a plan. This is the quickest way to overspend. Get an idea of which gifts you want to purchase and your budget for buying these items ahead of time. This way you won’t buy unnecessary or overly expensive items when you go shopping.
Competition is crucial – stores are desperately vying for your money, which means they are willing to negotiate prices more than you would expect. Use price matching and coupon offers to get the best price on items. Also, consider using layaway. There is still time to take advantage of spreading out the purchase price of items across the next four weeks.
Think outside the box—not all of your gifts need to be lavish or store bought. Many people appreciate homemade items and sentiment just as much as a tangible trinket. Grandparents are especially appreciative of crafts and confections made by grandchildren. Look around your house to find unused gifts from a previous year and re-gift it to another person.