Have you spotted the holiday commercials already? The jingling Hershey kisses in the shape of a Christmas tree got my attention recently.
The holidays are bright and fun, but all the parties, musicals, dinners out and more can really take a toll on your budget.
But it's no doubt the gifts that carve the biggest chunk out of your wallet.
According to the Better Business Bureau, retailers are expecting holiday spending to increase this year over last.
The National Retail Federation reports that “American shoppers will spend just under $750 on average on their holiday purchases this year, with a record percentage of shoppers buying online.”
The BBB teamed up with Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions to offer financial tips to help manage expenses and stay clear of debt this holiday season.
Here are some other ideas from Clearpoint for sticking to a budget:
- Make a list. Jot down a list of the persons to whom you wish to give a holiday gift.
- Set a Limit. Look at your budget to see what amount you can afford to spend in total and then set limits for the amounts you will spend on each person.
- Do your research. Many retailers are offering holiday deals, but it’s always a good idea to comparison shop. Online prices may be better, but don’t forget to factor in shipping costs.
- Plan your purchases. Decide on what items you will buy online and which items you will purchase at local retailers. Go to bbb.org to check out their BBB Business Reviews before you shop.
What are your tricks for starting the new year without loads of holiday debt? Homemade gifts? One big event maximum? Share your tips in the comments!