Tips to stretch your holiday budget – Be a smart shopper to save money

As it is that time of the year again when everyone is busy opening their Christmas presents or battling the crowds at the supermarket stores or planning their holidays during Christmas and New Year, taking wrong money decisions is expected. The savvy shoppers are predicted to do comparison shopping when it comes to spending their dollars buying things for their friends and family members. As per a study conducted by BIGResearch for the National Retail Federation, there are increasingly large numbers of smart shoppers out there in the market. 44.5% of the consumers will go online to shop at some point of their holidays and this trend is being seen since 2008. If you want to stretch your holiday budget and be a smart shopper so that you don’t end up spending beyond your means, here are some financial tips that you need to take in to account.

1. Shop throughout the year instead of a particular time: Yes, it is true that it is far more tempting to shop at once for Christmas and New Year but this is not the best approach, especially when you’re living on a shoe-string budget. The earlier you start shopping, the better it gets for you to save money. The smartest approach would be to shop throughout the year so that you can gradually leverage the discounts and the rebates that are offered during different times of the year. You may even get better unique gifts if you shop throughout the year.

2. Make smart online shopping decisions: The comfort of purchasing items sitting at home is an incomparable feeling. However, if this strategy is misused, this can wreak havoc for your wallet and your personal finances. The last-minute online sales always seem to be tempting and it’s easier to lose track of how much money you’re spending at the click of a mouse. The holiday season is also known as the high-traffic season and if you’re not watchful about the decisions that you make, you may fall in trouble.

3. Stay aware of the budget busters: Did you know that the most common budget buster is not having a budget at all? You should star off by determining how much you can spend and then commit to stick to that number, come what may. Jot down your monthly income and monthly expenses so that you have a clear idea of where to downsize in order to maintain a balance between your income and expenses.

4. Comparison shop: Another tip that you should always follow is to comparison shop and get multiple quotes of the same item before choosing one. Unless you compare the prices that are offered by different companies or stores, you won’t be able to choose the right one that is being offered at the best competitive price.

So, if you don’t want to continue paying your holiday debt till the next year, you should follow the smart budget tips mentioned above. You can also use an online budgeting tool if you’re not easy with devising a manual budget.

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