'Tis the season when you can't get away from ads because every store is having some type of sale! So how do you avoid overspending?
Jeff Hines, a financial advisor, says, “Set your budget, stick with your budget.”
He says if you don't want to blow your budget…take a page out of Santa’s book.
But how do you stay disciplined?
Use cash and once it's gone, the shopping is over. This should avoid credit card interest and eventual debt.
Don't wait until the last minute. “When there's everyone else in the mall trying to get the same items that you might want, things are running out so you have to come up with another gift idea that may cost more money,” Hines said.
So what do you do if you didn't plan early enough?
Think outside the box. Make gifts that cost next to nothing, donate money to a charity in your friends' names…which will help you with a tax deduction, or even try gift cards. But look for ones that get you rewards so you're gifting and getting at the same time.
Don't buy for everyone. “Do a secret Santa, where you're picking a name when you have a large family," Hines suggested.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Remember the whole meaning behind the holidays.
Hines adds, “It's not always about the dollar amount of the gift. The whole purpose of the season is it's a season of joy and friendship and family.”
So don't let these tips turn you into a Scrooge.
Let them help you enjoy Christmas present...and future!