Christmas is right around the corner. Can you believe it?
Even if you’ve waited until the last minute to wrap up your shopping, you don’t have to overspend. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has some valuable tips that will keep you from going overboard and spending more than you can afford. Watch the video below and continue reading for more information that can help you stay within your holiday budget.
1. Pare your list
Since you’re down to the wire, now is not the time to splurge on Christmas gifts because, for many items, the best holiday prices have come and gone.
Instead, narrow your list to include only those individuals you definitely to give a gift. It may be very tempting to pick up an adorable doll for the neighbor’s toddler or a gift card for your favorite co-worker, but doing so can quickly cause your spending to spiral out of control, leaving a limited budget for those who matter most or, even worse, a substantial amount of newly acquired credit card debt.
And, sorry to break it to you, but it is best if you leave on the shelf all of those items you would love to have for yourself. Remember, you’re trying to save money.
2. Set a time limit
Once you have the final list in hand, determine a reasonable amount of time to pick up those gifts. Once you begin shopping, set an alarm on your phone or other electronic device and refer to it frequently to keep you on track.
If you’re shopping with time constraints, there will be limited idle time to spend money on unnecessary items.
3. Pack your own snacks
Before heading out, fill up on your favorite meal or snacks within the comfort of your own home, or take some snacks and a drink with you. The coffee shop in the mall may be filled with mouth-watering treats and tasty beverages, but before you know it, you will have spent money that could have otherwise been allocated to your holiday gift fund.
4. Comparison shop
Use your smartphone or any other electronic device that can access the Internet to locate the best deals available at retailers nationwide, as well as online coupons. Even if you find an irresistible offer online, you may be able to visit a brick-and-mortar store and persuade the manager to match or even beat the price. You know how to haggle, don’t you?