10 Holiday Money Mistakes to Avoid
Carefully laid out financial plans are often at risk of unraveling during the holidays. This is when people tend to forget about prioritizing and instead choosing to accept as many invitations as they can and send as many gifts or holiday cards to as many people as possible. People tend to overspend on food, ending up with wasted food. And when the budget gets too tight, they tend to spend money that they don’t have by borrowing.
The financial chaos brought about by the holidays tend to boil down to 10 mistakes, including the following:
1. Not writing a shopping list
Holiday gift lists can do more than just remind you on who to prepare a gift for and what that appropriate gift would be. Failing to prepare one would likely have you doing some last minute shopping or impulse buying. This is why it is important to list down the names of your family members, relatives, friends, and colleague sand what you should give them. Shop early, compare the available items, and save money.
2. Not looking hard enough for deals
It is true that hunting for bargain sales and good deals might be time consuming, but there are many websites or apps nowadays that are dedicated to comparison shopping. They can help you save a few dollars in just a few clicks. Just make sure to also do some digging around to know how much items are originally worth so you’ll also know when you really find a good deal.
3. Shopping too early
You’d often hear money experts tell you to go ahead and be done with your holiday shopping list early to avail of discounts and avoid the cost of last-minute shopping. However, this also comes with a risk that if you cross off all items on your list too early, you might question whether the gifts you got are good enough for their recipients. If you can’t control it, you might end up buying new gifts or add-ons, ruining your budget and saddling you with more debt.
4. Not setting a holiday budget
For many people, the holidays and the bonuses that come with it tend to give people false confidence that they can spend as much as they would like because of their extra money. This often leads to the mistake of shopping without looking at a budget. But setting a budget would be a huge help towards maintaining and sticking to that budget. Aside from the gifts, you should also account for the cost of travel, food, holiday decorations, and entertainment.
5. Buying items online with shipping fees
Shopping online makes the task more convenient for you, but it can also prove to be quiet costly. It is a good thing then that some retailers would offer to waive their shipping fees during the holidays. You just have to look for those retailers. Another option is to use sites that collect shipping coupons for a wide variety of stores. And if you do find an online store offering free shipping if you buy goods worth a certain amount, make sure that you are not actually overspending or buying beyond your budget.