Seven Shopping Tips to Control Holiday Spending

It’s the last weekend of shopping before Christmas, is your list checked off? With just hours to go before the gifts will be exchanged, it can be easy to blow your budget with hasty purchases. As you head out to the malls, keep your budget on track with these seven shopping tips.
1. Determine how much you can spend this holiday season, taking into account decorating, entertaining, dining, travel, and gifts for family and friends.
2. Working off that total, draft a detailed budget before you start shopping, with line items for all the expenses that you factored into your total budgeted amount.
3. Get creative to shave costs. If you’re an artsy-craftsy type, make gifts and decorations instead of buying them. Rather than dining out, host a dinner party at home and ask your guests to bring something to share.
4. Resist temptation. As good as it feels to be generous, fight the impulse to overspend, even if it’s a screaming deal.
5. Be flexible. Despite all your best intentions, you may end up spending more than you planned on an item. Rather than wallowing in guilt, find places in your budget to cut to offset the splurge.
6. Use cash instead of plastic whenever possible. With cash, you can’t spend what you don’t have.
7. Give yourself incentive to stick to the plan. Think of a way to reward yourself for staying within budget—such as meal at your favorite restaurant or a spa treatment.
Content from This article was submitted by the Financial Planning Association, the membership organization for the financial planning community. FPA members are dedicated to supporting the financial planning process in order to help people achieve their goals and dreams. Submission of this article does not imply an endorsement or recommendation of the Financial Resource Center site.

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