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How to avoid overspending during the holidays (and maybe even save some money)

Curb your spending without compromising your holiday spirit!
November 30, 2021 9:38 a.m. EST

The holidays are fast approaching, and all that merry-making can be expensive. There is a lot of pressure to buy things during the holidays, and that can be stressful—and bad for your wallet.

From starting your shopping early to using points and rewards, financial planner Shannon Lee Simmons shared her tips on how you can plan so you can save time, money, and holiday cheer later on. 

Start early and spread the spending out 

The earlier you start shopping for the holidays, the easier it will be to resist overspending. And starting early allows you time to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, instead of having to shop last minute. 

Practice mindful spending 

Frictionless payments make it so easy to buy online. You can buy without even thinking about the price. One easy way to force yourself to think about it is to take your credentials off of those sites. That way you have to take a moment to get your card and manually input the numbers, which gives your brain a moment to pause and ensure you actually want to buy the item at that price. 

Shop the deals and local 

Finding a good deal is awesome, but just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you’re getting a good deal. Compare prices and make sure the store hasn’t upped prices just to offer a 10% discount, which puts the price right back where it started.

Another tip outside of online sales is to shop local in order to save on shipping and delivery fees. Plus, it likely leads to fewer returns! 

Use points and reward programs 

You may have rewards points from credit cards, department stores or purchases you have made throughout the year. Cash in those reward points to get a gift for someone else! 

Remember: the holidays aren't just about stuff. It's ok to set financial boundaries for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to make gifts, do a gift swap, secret Santas etc to reduce the number of gifts you have to buy overall.