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What are the Different Ways to Limit Spending During Christmas Shopping?

Christmas is a wonderful time of year meant for celebrating with family and friends. Christmas shopping can be a joyful experience, but it can also get expensive. As you begin searching for the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, keep a few things in mind to help you avoid overspending while Christmas shopping.

First, hit the sales. This may seem obvious, but you might just be surprised by how many fantastic discounts holiday shoppers miss. Those early bird sales might just save you enough money to make it worth having risen so early in the morning to go Christmas shopping.

Next, avoid using credit cards whenever possible when Christmas shopping, unless you know you will be able to pay them off quickly. It doesn’t do any good to find a great sale, if you end up paying all the money you saved in finance charges. If you do use a credit card when Christmas shopping, select the one with the lowest interest rate and pay it off as quickly as possible. Christmas shopping should be enjoyable rather than a frustrating experience due to concerns that you’ll spend the next of the year paying off your purchases.

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Setting up a budget before you begin Christmas shopping is also a good idea. Write down your purchases and total them as soon as you bring them home, so you can keep track of how much you’re spending. If you find that you are getting close to going over your budget, consider making some changes to your list.

It also makes sense to make a list before you go out Christmas shopping and then stick to it. This is not only so you’ll remember what you want to buy, but also so you won’t be tempted to pick up every interesting item you see. You will likely come across “must haves” for a family member or friend, but instead of just adding another item, it’s better to remove something from the list.

Keeping your list handy while you’re Christmas shopping can also help you avoid the dilemma of buying too many gifts for one person and not enough for someone else. This frequently occurs when shopping for children. You’ll come across many cute things while Christmas shopping, and you may begin collecting them, only to realize you have several items for one child and few for another.

If this occurs, you’ll then have to play “catch up” to make sure the other child doesn’t feel left out. This issue can easily become a vicious circle that leads to spending far more than you intended. Following your list and checking off items as you obtain them will help you keep better track of purchases while Christmas shopping as well as helping you stick to your budget.

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