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2018 Holiday Shopping Planning: Don’t Wait Till December

Woman walking with shopping bags with Christmas background.

The holiday season can be as stressful as it is cheery. Between work parties, family events and sugar cookies, it’s easy to wait till the last minute to do your holiday shopping —adding more stress on you and your wallet.

Last minute shopping puts you at risk for overdrafting your account, and even acquiring excess debt that could take years to repay.

Don’t fall into debt this December— these three easy steps will make your holiday season merry and bright:

  • Set a budget.
  • Shop early.
  • Shop smart.

Set a Budget

If you find yourself searching for extra money every November and December, you’re adding more holiday stress for you and your family that can easily be handled with a little planning, saving and smart shopping.

  • The first thing you need to do is plan who you’re getting gifts for and what you’ll get them. Every person is different and the more intimate the person is, usually the more expensive the gift.
  • Make a list of all the people in your life and decide on what gifts you’d like to give them this holiday season and how much you’re willing to spend. For instance, you may choose to get a more expensive gift for your mom and a more affordable gift for a friend.
  • Once you’ve decided how much you plan to spend, build your monthly budget and stick to it. Plan to tuck a few dollars or more away in a savings account once a month so when November comes around, you’re ready to get the gifts your loved ones deserve.

Shop Early

Shopping early means you won’t be rushed. When people are rushed they make poor financial decisions and are more susceptible to holiday advertising and in-store displays.

Holiday shopping can start as early as December 26, the day after Christmas.

  • When you start early, you give yourself time to make sound financial decisions.
  • You also get the right gifts for the ones you love. Spending over a long period of time will also be less stressful for you and your bank account and save you from painful overdraft fees.

Shop Smart

Once you have your list, you can spend time looking for the best price throughout the year.

  • Always keep an eye out for deals all year long and consider shopping on major promotional holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and even Spring-Cleaning sales, but don’t let the excitement of the sale blind you from determining if it is actually a good deal.
  • You can also take advantage of online deals and price alerts, which will tell if you the price of a certain item has dropped. Take advantage of online coupon sites. As long as you keep an eye out for the best deal, you’re shopping smart and saving even smarter.

If you plan early, take advantage of deals, and stick to your budget all year, your holiday season will be more cheerful than usual, and maybe you’ll have a little extra budget left to treat yourself, too.

If holiday shopping sounds stressful because of your current debt situation, CreditGUARD can help. Take the first step towards a stable financial tomorrow by calling one of our certified credit counselors. Call CreditGUARD Today at 1-800-500-6489!