The holidays are almost here, and that means lots of new gifts and items are on display at all the local shops. In 2016, 27 percent of shoppers claimed they had no budget, and another 24 percent went over their budgets. As someone who is trying to get out of debt, it's important that you understand what you can do to celebrate the holidays without going into unnecessary debt.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to avoid overspending. For some, that means staying away from sales or stores until after the holiday season. For others, developing a budget is enough. Here are a few ideas to keep your spending in check.
- Make a plan
If you have to go to a store to buy gifts, it's a good idea to plan ahead. Check the average cost of the gift you're looking for across several stores. Go to the cheapest one to save some of your hard-earned money.
- Don't buy randomly
Have you ever made a purchase just because it was cheap? Avoid doing so by sticking to what you know people around you want, and buy those gifts throughout the year. If you wait until the last minute to buy, you'll be in the midst of sales and holiday events that are aimed at making you spend more than you wanted to.
- Carry cash
Finally, if all else fails, remember that you can't spend what you don't have. Instead of buying with credit cards, only take cash with you when you shop. You'll have to monitor your spending, and you'll understand visually how much you have left.
These are a few tips to keep on budget this year. If your finances are out of control, consider looking into options for balancing your budget in the new year.
Source: CNBC, "How to get in the holiday spirit without going into debt," Sarah O'Brien, Nov. 26, 2017