Want to lower the stress of holiday shopping – on your budget and yourself? Create a shopping plan before you step into a store or browse online. This way you’ll avoid impulse purchases and overspending. Here are tips to help:

  • Start with a budget. Determine what you can afford to spend and still cover your routine expenses and obligations. Your holiday shopping budget could include a portion of income you’re setting aside from a temporary, seasonal job and/or your primary job.
  • Create a list of your gift recipients. Jot down ideas for each person – gifts you know they would appreciate – with the maximum amount you can afford to spend. A list (and sticking to it!) will keep you on budget and save you the time of searching.
  • Research prices and sales to find the best deals to help you stay under budget. A comparison shopping site, such as Pricegrabber.com, can help.
  • Adjust your shopping list as needed to stay within budget. This may require pruning your list, finding less expensive gifts or making gifts. See “10 Ways to Save on Gift Giving” for our budget-minded gift and shopping ideas.

How do you prepare for the holidays so that you don’t overspend? Tell us on our Facebook page.