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Avoiding Holiday Impulse Buys

Economic crisis or not, the holiday shoppers were out in force on Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving, and usually the busiest shopping day of the year. If you were one of these impulsive shoppers and you purchased items you hadn’t planned on buying and didn’t budget for, it isn’t too late to return your purchases.

 
For those of you who are still planning shopping sprees, here are some tips to avoid expensive impulse buying – the biggest hurdle during the holiday season.
 
  • Give yourself time to shop. Hurrying almost always equals poor planning. And the retailers will be happy to offer you their regular or higher priced items when you don’t have time to shop for bargains.
  • Make a list. Include the names, items, and the dollar amounts you plan to spend.
  • Give yourself a small cushion for unplanned purchases. That way you won’t feel denied the pleasure of purchasing the “perfect bargain.”
  • Use cash or a prepaid credit card. When the money is gone; it’s gone. And by using cash, you won’t be faced with a huge bill in January.
  • Limit credit card spending to only one card. Protect yourself from overspending even more by having a low limit on your card.
  • Clip an index card to your debit or credit card and record your purchases. The fees you could end up paying if you overdraw your checking account or go over your credit card limit will destroy any savings in your holiday budget.
  • Consider using layaway plans. Layaway has lost favor over the past few years, but as shoppers have begun to cut back on using credit, retailers have responded by making layaway plans more available.

 

 

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