It’s easy to get carried away with spending when you’re in the holiday spirit. To help you spend wisely, here are a few helpful tips:
Make a budget for the holidays and stick to it. Don’t just include gifts for each person you plan to buy for and major items like travel costs. Meals, greeting cards, postage and wrapping paper may seem like small expenses, but they can add up quickly…so if it’s holiday-related, add it to your budget!
Take the time to comparison shop. If you don’t have time to get to the stores, there are websites like Shopzilla and Nextag.com that can help do the comparisons for you. When you are at the store, ask sales reps if they’ll match or beat their competitors’ prices. Some retailers will even accept coupons from their competitors. When buying gifts online, remember that waiting until the last minute can cost you big bucks on express shipping. Place your order early enough so it will arrive via standard shipping.
If you can’t pay for a purchase all at once, use store lay-away instead of a credit card. If you have to use credit, make sure it goes on the card with the lowest interest rate and charge only what you can pay off within two months.