Like many others, this is my favorite season. Nothing beats the holiday festivities and spending time with loved ones.
The season also brings an experience that can be fun, frustrating and stressful: holiday shopping.
If you’re feeling more of the negative side this season, here are ways to make it easier:
Make a List
Figure out all the people you need to get gifts for and write down a few ideas for each person.
Going out with a shopping list will help you avoid splurging on gifts (for them or yourself). Making a list also helps curb spending when grocery shopping for holiday meals.
Make a Budget
Your holiday spending should have nothing to do with how much was spent last year or how much the other person spent. It’s about what you can afford now.
Create a spreadsheet for all holiday expenses. This includes gifts, travel, food, decorations and anything else you’ll need to spend money on. Stick to that budget to avoid overspending.
Do Your Research
Making a list allows you to decide what you want to get each person, and then opens up the door for research.
Jump online and do price comparisons to make sure you’re getting the best deal. You can also look for discounts and coupons.
Buy on Special Days
Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day may sound like a gimmick, but you can get really great deals. Pay attention to items on your list and see what kind of deals you can grab.
Sign Up to Email Newsletters
Most companies will ask for your email address in exchange for the ability to send you news, promotions and sales. Sign up for these!
You can get some exclusive deals and it doesn’t take much on your part. If you’re concerned about a flooded inbox, most email clients have advanced filtering options.
Although you’ll see sales during the entire season, you want to start your shopping early. If you procrastinate, you’ll end up rushing to get your holiday gifts and be more likely to buy something not on sale.
Use Cash if Possible
Staying away from plastic will force you to spend what you’re carrying.
Pick a Good Credit Card
Not everyone can pay with cash, so if you need to use a credit card, make sure it’s a good one. You can pick a rewards card to ensure you’re getting something back.
Already used a credit card you’re not fond of? Aspire offers a 0% APR introductory period for 6 months on balance transfers. Learn more here.
Make a Plan to Pay Off Your Debt
Set a goal to pay off your holiday expenses by a specific date. This can help keep you motivated to stay on track and start saving for next year.
Check out Aspire’s Holiday Club accounts to get your savings going for next year.