Yes, it’s that time of year again. The weather’s getting colder. The kids areback in school. Before we know it – our eyes will be turning toward the holidays. And now is the time to think about rescuing your wallet before it’s too late. Every year, people wait until the last minute to start their holiday shopping and wind up spending much more than they should have only to regret it later. You don’t have to be one of them.
Start Your Holiday Shopping in September
Starting your holiday shopping in September can help you save money. When you start shopping this early, you don’t feel the pressure to buy everything all at once. On average, those who shop between Thanksgiving and January spend more than those who hit the malls in September and October.
Prices also tend to be lower in September and October, so starting now can keep your spending to a minimum. Malls and other retailers make the majority of their income during the holiday season – particularly between the months of November and December. That’s why prices tend to go up after Thanksgiving – and why many people suffer with tremendous debt afterward.
While holiday shopping may be the last thing on your mind when you’re caught up in the throes of raking leaves and the responsibilities of a busy life, shopping early will save you money. Plus, the malls are less crowded this time of year and you have a much better selection of merchandise.
Opt for Online Shopping
If you start shopping now, you will find you are more relaxed and better able to enjoy holiday festivities. Many people prefer doing their shopping online to going into the stores. Shopping online is a great way to save money. You pay for shipping, of course, but you’re less likely to make impulse buys like you would at the malls. The key is to do your holiday shopping gradually.
Set a Holiday Budget
Set a holiday budget and stick to it. Keep a spreadsheet or document of how much you have spent, and keep an eye on it throughout the holiday shopping season. Another benefit of shopping online is the fact that you can compare prices on different websites and get the best price. You can find many products cheaper on sites such as Amazon and Ebay. When shopping online, search for the items you want on your favorite websites, then compare prices on the same item.
We’ve all found ourselves crying the blues in January, because we were a little too merry one holiday season. You gave in to impulse buys, because they were dirt cheap. And now you are knee deep in holiday debt. Remorse inevitably sets in with the realization that you have credit cards to pay.
Be smart this season and spend only what you have in cash. Avoid using credit cards. Pay for gifts using a debit card or cash you have in your wallet. That way, you can keep an eye on how much you’re spending. And you won’t be tempted to spend more than you can afford.
Article written by Shannon Dickinson from http://www.quizzle.com
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