The holidays are fast approaching as November is now upon us. Retail stocks often rise during this time of year as the wallets and purses of most get lighter. I often caution people about overspending on gifts over the course of the holidays. We are accustomed to placing a high value on material possessions that often decrease in value immediately after purchase. I’d like to highlight a few ways to keep your finances in tact during this joyous time of the year.
Make a Budget: This is probably the most important thing to do as a consumer in general. Well the same needs to be done for your gift list. Write down the name of each person you intend to purchase a gift for than put a dollar limit on what you may purchase that person. The gift price for your toddler niece or nephew should not cost more than what you buy your spouse or even your parent. Keep things into perspective.
Utilize Gift Cards: Gift cards can save you time and money. They eliminate the hassle of going store to store in search of a specific item, while being available in affordable increments. The best part is they are available at almost every major retailer.
Exchange Gifts: Swapping Gifts is a great way to save money during the gift giving season. My family has done this for several years now and we make an event of it. There are apps and websites that make the process even easier such as Elfster, Drawnames.com and the Peapod App just to name a few.
The importance of being smart with holiday spending can not be overstated. I hate to see people get themselves into debt that carries over into the next year all because of extravagant holiday shopping. If you can manage to end the year on the right foot, you will be sure to start the year off right as well.