How To Avoid Overspending During the Holidays

How To Avoid Overspending During the Holidays

From when you wake up in the morning, to when you go to sleep at night, you are overloaded with hundreds of advertisements, flashy products, and other more subtle marketing techniques. When you’re trying to live on a budget, these things are your enemy.  Here’s how to avoid the urge to overspend:

Make a list, and stick to it

Many times, when we intend to make a shopping list, we end up getting in a rush and running out the door. Then we end up buying a lot of stuff we didn’t intend to and probably don’t need. 

The easiest way to make a list is to keep a notepad in your house and write an item down when you run out or realize you need it. Then, when you get to the store, only buy what’s on the list. 

Never shop hungry, sad, or angry.

We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t shop hungry. If you’ve ever decided to hold off eating to go food shopping, you know why. Always remember to eat a snack before heading into the grocery store.

But hunger isn’t the only thing that can alter your spending habits. Many people are more likely to spend money when they are emotional as a to make themselves feel better. While you can’t always control when you need to go shopping, try to hold off on your trip if you’re having a really bad day!

Never buy a product simply because it’s on sale  

If you can get virtually the same product for a lower price tag, go ahead and do it. But if you never buy frozen dinners, don’t buy one just because it’s on sale. You end up leaving with a lot more than you meant and increasing your spending.

Buy only what you need, especially if it’s perishable

Often, stores offer sales only if you buy larger amounts of a product. Sure, you get each one cheaper, but you end up spending more money in the end. If the item is perishable, it may end up going to waste. If the item isn’t perishable, you still need to look at how the extra purchase will affect your budget. Saving a few dollars may not be worth it if you must go without something else you really need or overdraft your checking account.  

Also, take a closer look at the policies of the stores you shop at. Stores like Wal-Mart may put up signs such as “2 for $10”, but if you only buy one, you still get the $5 price tag!

Prioritize WHAT YOU WANT vs. WHAT YOU NEED

Occasionally, even people on a budget can spoil themselves with little treats or even a large splurge. The key is not doing it all the time so that you can stay within your budget. 

Make a list of all your expenses and prioritize them based on your wants and needs. Take care of each need in order. If you have money to spoil yourself when you get near the bottom of the list, then you know you can afford an extra purchase. Just remember to include a savings account near the top of your list in case of emergencies. By watching yourself and using a little control, you can keep yourself from going overboard.

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