The 2023 holiday shopping season is finally upon us. Notoriously, holiday shopping is one of the largest contributors to increased credit card debt – people get in the holiday spirit and spend much more than they should.
This year, you can shop smarter and still get gifts for everyone on your list, all while avoiding additional credit card debt. With some planning and a little bit of self-control, you won’t have to worry that this year’s holiday shopping season will break the bank. To help lessen the stress of holiday shopping, we put together a list of 8 holiday shopping tips that will help you shop responsibly and avoid adding more credit card debt:
1. Make a list (it works for Santa)
Think about everyone you will be buying gifts for, then put them all on a list. Go back through the list and give each name a maximum dollar amount that you absolutely will not go over. With a price limit on each gift recipient, it is much easier to stick to your budget and avoid overspending.
2. Shop smarter (avoid distraction)
If you are shopping and you see an amazing deal, pause and pull out your phone. Check online and see if you can find a better price. If you find a better deal, see if the store you are in will price match (most stores will match prices, especially during the holiday shopping season). If the store refuses to price match, buy the item at the cheaper online price.
3. Pay with cash (avoid using credit)
Paying with cash is one of the old stand-by tips for avoiding debt – an it’s on every list for an important reason. If you use cash in hand to buy your holiday gifts, you will not add any additional credit card debt. This is even more important if you are already struggling with credit card debt. It also helps to save ahead of time, so you know you will have the cash available when it is time to shop.
4. Shop early (weeks before the holidays, not early in the morning)
You started with your gift list, so you know who you are buying for and what you are buying. If you make the list early enough, you can spend more time doing research to find the best deals – and that means you will save significant money. In fact, according to a recent study, last-minute holiday shoppers spend an average of $250 more.
5. Put aside money for more expensive items
If you are buying a more expensive item, start saving early. On the day we are publishing this post, Christmas is still a month away, so you may need to keep this in mind for next year to better prepare. You can set money aside monthly or even weekly – but with some planning and time, you should be able to buy that big item without financial strain.
6. Shop online to save time and money
This seems fairly obvious in today’s age of Amazon shopping, but when you shop online, you have more time to research and compare items. You won’t be distracted by crowds or misleading specials. You will save money by shopping smarter (and save a bit of your sanity as well).
7. Avoid paying for shipping
Look for online vendors who offer free shipping. Sometimes, it’s worth spending a bit more money on a few of your gift items if you can skip the expensive shipping charges.
8. Be smart about Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Sure, Black Friday was last week, but many retailers extend their specials throughout December. Many of the stores offer the same “Black Friday” deals online for weeks afterward, and shopping at home means you can skip the in-store crowds and spend more time researching and buying responsibly.
If you follow these holiday shopping tips, you will be able to avoid racking up additional credit card debt this holiday season. If you have already finished your holiday shopping, bookmark this list or save it for next year – these tips will always be helpful.
If your credit card debt is already spinning out of control, or if it has gotten worse because of holiday shopping, call us today at 214-760-7777 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll listen to your situation and recommend the best course of action so you can get started on the road to recovery!