While Christmas is a time of gift giving and enjoying family and friends, the pressure to buy presents and spend money can be overwhelming to some; it is not uncommon that people will overspend during the holiday season and end up racking up credit card debt, which is not a great way to start the new year. However, with a little planning and smart shopping, you can successfully avoid holiday financial pitfalls while still being able to give great gifts to your loved ones. Here are some money-saving Christmas shopping tips:
- Avoid signing up for store credit cards: While department and other store credit cards often come with an enticing offer of saving 10 percent on your first purchase, these credit cards are generally associated with very high interest rates that will largely surpass any initial savings you may achieve when first opening up this new account.
- Beware of “Too-Good-to-Be-True” deals”: Black Friday deals, as well as others that may seem to be great holiday deals, can be deceptive, especially in the cases in which the savings is offered through a rebate (which many people do not follow up on) or if the deal involves throwing in bonus gifts (which you likely do not need and/or which tend to be cheap products). The best way to truly get a good deal is to shop around. Many online companies will quickly compare the costs of products from different retailers so you can swoop up the best deal.
- Set a budget and stick to it: It can be easy to overspend if you do not set a budget for each person you shop for – and for your overall Christmas spending. Before you spend any money on Christmas gifts, make sure you know how much you can afford, and then stick to spending only that amount.