Plan Your Christmas Shopping Budget Now
If you expect to be doing some serious Christmas shopping this season, now is the time to plan just how much you will spend and where you will spend your money. Indeed, the average American family spends more than 0 each year on holiday gifts, much more than that according to some observers. Unfortunately, come the following January these same consumers are often left with a mess to deal with: credit card bills and no way to pay off the debt at least all at once. If you plan your Christmas shopping budget now, you can save a lot of heartache later on.
Cash or Credit? One surefire way to wreck any budget is to pay credit for purchase. No, using a credit card isnít wrong Ė it can even be a smart decision in some cases Ė but it can cause plenty of pain later on if you donít have the funds available to pay off the card later on. Consider leaving the emotional side of the holidays out of it and stick to a plan where come January you have no bills to pay off or enough money on hand to pay them off when they arrive.
Shop the Sales. Even months before the holiday season starts, great sales to get you in the spending mood are held by retailers everywhere. Many merchants no longer rely on the last five to six weeks of the year for their profits. Consumers spend all through the year therefore September and October are important months where big sales are often held.
Go Online. Yes, online shopping continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. Year to year sales increases of 20 to 30 percent are common via the internet as consumers compare prices, order goods online and avoid taxation. Shipping costs are small or forgiven if you reach a certain spending threshold.
Just the Kids. If you are part of a big family, consider buying gifts just for the kids. Some families pull a name out of a hat and only buy gifts for one child. Put some sensibility back into your gift giving. Remember, the holiday is about the biggest gift of all: our savior, not reckless gift giving.
Plan now and youíll also avoid the tremendous emotional appeals later on. Donít let your holiday shopping get swallowed up by the frenzy of the moment. Instead, come up with a reasonable plan to make your next Christmas truly memorable!
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