Holiday Shopping Plan – Smart Spending Tips

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Good money management skill is the key to better holiday shopping. It helps to purchase gifts for near and dear ones by staying within the budget, and makes holiday shopping interesting and exciting.

Festive days are just a few weeks ahead. It’s time to buy gifts for friends and family. This is what most people have been doing since the past few weeks. As put forward by a survey carried out by the NPD Group, people have set their average holiday shopping expense to $681 which is $15 higher than that of last year. This indicates that natural calamities and the recent hike in gas prices have not deterred buyers from shopping exclusive items especially for Christmas.

Gifts are something which can cheer up family members, children and all of the relatives. But while shopping around for favorite items, one should be careful enough to move according to a well-planned budget. Planning to shop for the holidays is extremely helpful when cash is limited and the list of purchase items seems to be endless. One must be calculative as far as your personal finance is involved.

Experts say that it is better to spend little rather than overspend. This is a common problem which most debtors often come across nowadays. They take loans, for example, credit cards, mortgages and even auto loans, often beyond their financial strength to repay them and later on end up getting bankrupt. This creates a negative impact on their credit profile and prevents them from getting loans in years to come. So everyone should start planning from today to make the Christmas Eve a memorable one.

Some easy-to-follow steps for better financial planning:

1) Make an estimate of the maximum amount for holiday shopping. It is wiser to make the budget such a way that some extra cash is always there to compensate the budget overflow.

2) Prepare a list of the names of friends and family members for whom gifts are to be taken. Keep aside a certain amount of cash for each of them.

3) Calculate the average expenses for miscellaneous purposes like decoration, entertainment, traveling costs, food and beverage etc. Also, include the cost of apparel as well as greeting cards.

4) Now sum up all the expenses and in case the total amount exceeds the budget limit, decide as to how the expenditure can be reduced. Take suggestions from family members and ask for help to take up the right decision.

5) Try to stick to all the planning and calculations and while shopping, look for some discounts and holiday offers. This will help to save several dollars from the predefined budget thereby allowing one to utilize the extra cash for other expenses.

6) Decide upon the mode of payment. Take a limited amount of cash while setting out for shopping. This will help to minimize total expenditure. To be on the safer side, keep all the details of payments made by credit card until next bank statement is issued.

A large number of credit card providers are likely to restructure their payment policies. They intend to charge high installments from card holders so that the amount covers up interest, fees and a certain percentage of the principal for each payment period. The minimum payment may be doubled from 2% to 4% of total loan amount. So, shoppers really need to control their use of plastic money this Christmas.

Good money management skill is the key to better holiday shopping. It helps to purchase gifts for near and dear ones by staying within the budget, and makes holiday shopping interesting and exciting.

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Ryan Smith
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