4 Ways to Avoid a Christmas Spendover
There are two different types of people when it comes to the holidays… those who think “It’s only October, I have plenty of time to do my Christmas shopping” or those who feel “There’s only 9 weeks til Christmas, I better get planning and finish shopping!” Many reasons exist that people procrastinate their holiday shopping, but a result of procrastinating can lead to spending a large amount of money at once, which doesn’t work for most people. According to the American Research Group, in 2015, people on average planned on spending $882 on gifts for the holiday season - and that amount doesn’t even include travel expenses, food or holiday outfits! If you’re starting to worry about how you are going to afford those gifts, take a look at these 4 points to help you get through your holiday spending.
Set a budget and keep a running total- Many people may set a budget for Christmas shopping, but end up not following through with it. If you find yourself to be one of those people, this is the key point that you really need to hold yourself to. Not only should you set a budget but you should also keep a running total of what you are spending while you are purchasing gifts. If it helps, when making a budget, divide your budget by person so you know how much you should spend on each individual.
Make a List- Along with setting a budget, the best advice is to make a list. Without a list you may find yourself buying too many presents and overspending which defeats the purpose of making a budget. If you are shopping for a family member, find out what they want and add that to the list. After you have your list complete, start by searching stores or online for the items.
Shop Around- Don’t feel like you have to buy the doll that your niece wants at the first store you find it at. Look at sale flyers, as well as online, to find the best price. Keep in mind potential shipping costs if you’re looking online, which will add to the price of the item. It may be a couple dollars cheaper online but if you have to pay $7 shipping it won’t be saving you in the end, so also watch for shipping discounts or coupons.
Rewards Cards- If you’re going to be spending a large amount of money, you might as well be earning cash, points or miles back! When looking for a rewards card, look for a card that will offer rewards that are beneficial to you. For example, if you are going to be looking for a new truck or SUV in the future, you should be checking out the Capital One® BuyPower Card. With the Capital One® BuyPower Card, you can get 5% earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year, then an unlimited 2% earnings on every purchase after that. With those earnings, you can redeem them toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. There is no annual fee and your earnings don’t expire. This is great even if you won’t be looking for a new vehicle for a couple years!
If travel rewards are more beneficial to you, check out the Barclaycard Arrival Plus ™ World Elite MasterCard® which offers 2x miles on all purchases. This card currently has a great intro bonus as well with the ability to earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days! That’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit! So if you travel frequently or are saving up for a family vacation next Christmas, you should check out this rewards card.