After reading the title of this blog, you’re probably thinking October is too soon to start planning your holiday shopping. But is it really? With the holiday season only weeks away, getting a head start on your holiday shopping will ensure you find the best deal and help keep you on budget!
Still not convinced? We’ve debunked these 5-holiday spending myths to prove why you should start planning now to save yourself money and stress come December.
Myth #1: I’ll get more bang for my buck by waiting to purchase gifts last minute.
This might sound good in theory, but with longer delivery times and limited stock due to the pandemic, waiting might result in you losing out on the items you want – especially if they’re popular. Not to mention, the fear of missing out might increase your impulse to buy and overspend. If you’re an online shopper leaving purchases too late will also require a rush delivery and cost more.
Instead of waiting for a potential sale or the last-minute holiday rush, research the details of your wish list items now so you know when the best time will be to shop. Try reading reviews, checking product availability and expected delivery dates. Also, do research into whether the items might be on sale during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Myth #2: ‘It’s the thought that counts’ won’t work on my kids, so I need to buy them what they want.
The coolest and latest gadgets won’t always create happy kids. Sometimes the best gift you can give is the gift of your time. According to the Child Development Institute, children crave time with their parents because it makes them feel special. As the saying goes, ‘creating memories will last a lifetime and can cost nothing at all.
This year try switching out material gifts with the gift of experience. Try:
- Taking a family hike together;
- Cuddling up with some blankets and hot chocolate to watch your favorite holiday movies; or
- Give back to the community together by volunteering with a meaningful charity or serving a hot meal at a shelter.
Myth #3: Planning for the holidays is already stressful, I don’t need to add budgeting into the mix.
Budgeting is a great way to feel more organized, which helps decrease stress. Your budget can inform you on how much you can afford to spend on gifts, as well as decorations, entertainment and/or travel.
If you’re new to budgeting, remind yourself that by sticking to it, you’ll be rewarded in the end by not breaking the bank.
For ways to stay on budget this holiday season, try scaling back your gift-giving list by having your family or friends agree to a gift exchange or secret Santa that has a limit-per gift or donate to a charity as a group. You could start a tradition that saves money for everyone.
Myth #4: People will think I’m strange if I ‘go green’ this year even though I’m concerned about the excess waste that happens over the holiday season.
You won’t be viewed as the Grinch by going eco-friendly this holiday season. Now more than ever, people are more conscious of the environmental impact of plastics and paper waste.
You can make the season memorable and “green” for everyone by repurposing cloth material or last year’s wrapping paper or gift bags this year. Recycle past greeting cards into decorations and instead of a live tree, pull out the artificial one from storage or get creative and stack wrapped boxes or books to make the shape of a tree.
Myth #5: I don’t have the cash, but I can rely on credit for my holiday shopping.
Using credit to purchase your holiday gifts can be tempting. However, if you truly can’t afford to spend over the holidays, relying on credit has the power to leave you with post-Holidays stress and debt that will last long past the holiday cheer.
How you prepare now for your holiday spending can help you save in the long run. Dashing out for gifts during the last-minute rush might drive you to impulse buy and overspend, which could lead to financial regret and buyer’s remorse. To avoid those feelings and keep you on budget, take the next month to plan out your holiday expenses, research the gifts you plan to purchase and save yourself from being short-changed this holiday.
If you’re worried your holiday shopping could push your already overwhelming debt over the edge or are looking for help with budgeting, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation at GTDebtSolutions.com or 1-844-4GT-DEBT.