Lisa Lee Freeman
4 ways to avoid a holiday-spending hangover!
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Last-minute shopping is the mother of all budget-killers; here's how to get it under control.
1. Leave the plastic at home. Remember, the holidays will come and go but credit card debt can stick around for years! Many studies have shown that you spend more when paying with credit cards—one found that shoppers spend up to 100% more! With debit cards, you can end up cleaning out your bank account if you're not careful! But when using cash, you can only spend the money you have in your purse. Whether you’re shopping with cash or plastic, the best way to cut spending is to create a budget—decide how much you’ll spend overall with specific target spending amounts for each person and item on your list. Then promise yourself to stick with it!
2. Skip unnecessary gifts! A great way to stay within a budget is to avoid self-gifting—at least for now. More than half of shoppers in one survey said they plan to buy themselves goodies while they’re out holiday shopping. My advice: Hold off on the self-gifting and snap up goodies for yourself during the post-Christmas sales. Also hold off on the pet gifts. A poll last year showed that shoppers spend an average of more than $200 on holiday goodies for their fur babies! If you’re worried about Fido having nothing to unwrap—give him a pile of wrapping paper to tear up! He won’t know the difference!
3. Buy in bulk and build gift baskets. Loading up on last-minute hostess gifts and presents for co-workers can get expensive. Instead, buy holiday goodies in bulk online and from warehouse and wine stores. Then select the baskets from dollar stores or discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. To make it extra sweet, throw in some home-made cookies or candies, or even an IOU for babysitting or other services.
4. Take advantage of cash-back programs like Rakuten and Retailmenot. If you haven’t already signed up for one of these programs now’s a good time! You’ll find special deals for the holidays in stores and online—including generous double cash-back offers—which you get on top of markdowns and other deals!
For more holiday-saving tips, check out my TV segment on The List!