Spend, spend, spend - that's what retail and marketers want us to do this holiday. While it's convincing to max out our credit cards and buy holiday gifts for the family, oftentimes we get carried away and break the bank. Major consumer holidays are coming up, and Christmas is probably the biggest one of all. We offer tips below that stress the importance of wise, thrifty, and smart consumer spending to ensure that you maintain great credit and live within your means. We all know getting through the holidays without stress is what everyone needs!
Always keep a watch out on your bank account and credit card statements. It's easy to swipe away your savings, since you are not monitoring your money physically, getting carried away on holiday shopping happens to the best of us. Especially with events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, marketers are finding new ways to encourage us to spend money on deals. Be sure to shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. With all the fraudulent activities going on, monitoring your bank account will help keep these instances at a minimum.
Strongly consider gift cards as holiday presents, which will not go to waste for the person you're spending on, as gift certificates allow you to put a cap on the amount you spend per person, and help you keep track of your spending without much fluctuation. Also, gift cards make great gifts when you are unsure what to get someone and may be redeemable for up to seven years. In many states, this is required by law, so you investment is protected.
Thrifty shoppers all know that major stores like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Best Buy will match other stores prices if you show them an advertisement from a competitor's ad when you are shopping, giving you the opportunity to buy a product at the lowest price. Stay educated and updated on all store policies, return policies, and layaway policies.
Restrain from buying on impulse, especially online shopping. Customers will spend more than they planned on impulse buys. If you set a list of items you are looking for, and try to stay on only items on that list, instead of browsing the whole store without a slight idea of a gift, you will end up buying more things you need.
If you are on a tight budget, revamp your gift list and evaluate your giving strategy. For example, if you have many little nieces and nephews, try spending a little bit more on a gift you can give as a group versus individual but less costly gifts. For example, a gaming system for the whole group and a game. Something that they can all enjoy together
Smart holiday shopping helps you keep your personal finances in check and also saves you from bad credit. If you want to avoid getting unnecessary personal loans, set a budget that you will adhere to no matter what. At all costs, don't go beyond your means because paying back personal loans will be a hassle and struggle and it's not fun to be in debt during the holidays.