Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Spending Trends: How to Prepare

The Holiday season is great for a lot of reasons: family, friends, religious gatherings, parties, good food, etc. However, the most constant and encompassing thing during the Holiday season shopping. Yes, Holiday shopping- the monster that is here to stay. Whether or not you believe in giving gifts during the Holiday season, the fact is you cannot avoid the shopping madness. From crazy store hours to new products to super-saving deals, everywhere you look, you are reminded that the Holiday shopping season is happening. To help you prepare for the Holiday shopping season, here are three areas you can look to address:

1. Purchase Gifts Online
Not a fan of long lines or “fighting” through crowded aisles at your local mall? Then grab a chair, maybe a blanket, and fire up your computer. Online shopping is your answer to avoiding the crazy shoppers. When you consider the great online deals out there (Cyber Monday) and the time you will save by not going out, you will see the benefits of purchasing gifts online. At the very least, you can do your gift “scouting” online so you are best prepared to go out and find exactly what you want much more quickly.

2. Have A Game Plan
Yes it may sound a little excessive, but make a list of who you are going to purchase gifts for and then figure out what to get them. By making this list you can research which stores offer the best prices and which gifts in general are overpriced. Once you have a game plan in place you can go out and execute the plan, while still allowing for an audible or two. Knowing what you need to get, and more importantly what NOT to get, will be critical.

3. Set A Budget
Over-spending is not uncommon- In fact, it is quite easy. The Holiday season naturally calls us to be extra nice and go above and beyond for others. As a result, we tend to purchase extravagant gifts for our loved ones. While the thought is great, the result can sometimes be tough to deal with. You should never put yourself in a situation in which you are struggling to make ends meet because of your purchasing choices. Our suggestion; set a budget of how much you are willing to spend on gifts for each person on your list and then stick to it. It won’t be easy, but by identifying how much you can spend, you are putting yourself in a good position to cope with making difficult choices.

Again, the Holiday shopping season is going to be crazy, and there isn’t much you can do to change it. Hopefully, these three tips will help you stay calm and enjoy the Holiday season the way it was meant to be!

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