5 Ways to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season
6 months ago
Experts weigh in
With nearly half of Americans—45 percent—claiming they'd prefer to skip the holidays altogether this year, it's clear that the financial stresses the season can bring can be too much to bear no matter one's income.
Unfortunately, the concern is unchanged from last year when, according to a CBS poll, a third of Americans said they felt more stress than usual about the amount they planned to spend on gifts. (A Gallup poll taken the week before Thanksgiving showed consumers planned to spend $770 on average on holiday gifts.)
Sure, there are some mobile apps that can help you stick to budgets and save while shopping—we've picked the best ones for you, by the way—but experts have suggested even more tips to avoid overspending (and stressing) during the holidays.
Paper Over Plastic: The National Foundation for Credit Counseling reported that people who pay with cash save 20 percent more than those who charge their goods and services, and Howard Dvorkin, founder of the non-profit Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, says people spend up to a third more when paying with credit instead of cash—so whatever you do, keep the bank card away from Black Friday.
Inform & Involve the Family: "Ask the family to do Secret Santa, so it's no longer [about] getting a gift for each person but for one, and there is a spending limit. Or ask the family to do community service for the holidays instead of a gift exchange to focus on what's really important," says life coach Casandra Roache of Inspire Many.