Panic Sets in and People Spend on Impulse… The Countdown has Begun!

Miss Money BeeBy April Lewis-Parks

What do you have left on your shopping list?  A survey from the National Retail Federation found that most people still had half of their shopping to do, and 37% hadn’t even started. Less than 10% were finished, so it’s safe to say many of us are procrastinators.

Debt problems can be very stressful and when you add in with holiday pressures, it came become an explosive situation. When you’re under financial stress, you might find yourself arguing about money, experiencing headaches, or finding it difficult to sleep at night. Financial stress can interfere with your quality of life and enjoyment of the holiday season.

But this doesn’t mean you can blow your budget! Often it is this week that people make most mistakes: paying extra for shipping, buying things to just knock a person off your gift list, and even spend more money per person than you originally budgeted for.  I still have presents on my list to buy and I am running out of time too!

For those last-minute shoppers I have suggestions for keeping spending in check:

  • Track what you have spent so far, cash and credit, to determine how much is available to spend on the last-minute gifts.
  • Consider alternatives to expensive gifts, such as something homemade, setting a limit on how much to spend or choose an experience to share with your friend or family member.
  • Limit your shopping time in the malls – the more time you spend shopping the more money you are apt to spend.
  • Eat before you leave the house to avoid unnecessary spending in the food court.
  • Give personal service gift certificates in nicely wrapped envelopes – snow shoveling, babysitting, and car washing are welcomed gifts during winter.

Happy holidays and remember to keep the gift prices in check! If you have some good tips, please leave them in the comment section!