Each year the holidays sneak up and take us for all we’re worth. Except for the small number of people who complete their holiday shopping at a nice pace throughout the year, the holiday crush often causes us to purchase more items with less research ahead of time. To avoid being dragged into intense holiday credit card debt, consider these tips to help you get good deals without going overboard.
1. Make a holiday gift list and stick to it. If you think of someone else you need to buy for while you’re out, add them to the list, but try your best to avoid impulse shopping.
2. Have a general idea of how much you want to spend on each person on your list. Try to stay as close to your designated amounts as possible. If you find the item you want on sale for less than it normally costs (and less than you budgeted), you can smile knowing you saved yourself some money. Don’t feel obligated to spend the exact amount, especially if you are getting a deal.
3. Save a little money each month throughout the year to help offset your holiday spending. Even if you sock away $50 or $100 every other month, you should have enough to help keep your credit card balance up to date.
4. Use your rewards credit card to help make up for some of the holiday expenses. While it won’t be much, every little bit helps. You’d rather get back something rather than nothing, right?
5. Don’t spend blindly! Once you’ve set your budget per person and made your Christmas shopping list, tally up the total amount you expect to spend and stick as closely to it as possible.