Top Ten Ways to Keep from Spending Your Money on Something Stupid During the Holidays

Top Ten Ways to Keep from Spending Your Money on Something Stupid During the Holidays
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

During the holidays, business is slow for us financial counselors. No one wants to talk about money issues when there are gifts to buy and parties to attend. They’ll all wait until the bills start arriving in January. Then they will call us and ask us to make their money problems disappear. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I’m not a magician.

So my wish for this holiday shopping season is for all of you to refrain from doing something stupid with your money. Here is my top ten list to help you out:
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10. Make a list and check it twice. Know who you are shopping for, what you are going to get them, and how much you plan to spend on each person.

9. Do an online search of the gifts on your list. It will give you an idea of what the items cost. You can also see if you are better off buying it locally or online.

8. I know gas prices are still pretty low, but why drive all over the state to fight crowds at the mall if you can buy an item just as cheap online? Is the food court that good?

7. Don’t wait until the last minute to buy gifts. You’ll get desperate and end up
paying way too much.

6. My two favorite words: Free Shipping

5. But keep mailing deadlines in mind. Have you looked into how much it costs
to overnight a 15-pound package to Cleveland?

4. Look for online coupon codes.

3. Establish a budget for what you want to spend. Write the amount down and put it in a place you will see it or on your phone. Keep a running list of what you have already spent.

2. Leave the credit cards at home if you think you will go overboard. Just take as much cash as you think you will need.

1. Christmas is a time of giving gifts to others, not buying for you. I get so
annoyed when reporters interview Black Friday shoppers who have to tell the
whole world about the new gadgets they got for themselves.

Ho, Ho, Ho! Happy Shopping from The Everyday Financial Planner!