‘Tis the Season for Holiday Budgeting Tips

What holiday budgeting tips will leave you satisfied at the end of the season?

Holiday Budgeting TipsThe best holiday budgeting tips can help you feel happy at the end of the holidays, not stressed out and regretting those special purchases. Going overboard won’t just drain your bank account. It can put a real strain on your relationships. Shoppers who feel too guilty to keep gift-giving reasonable may have buyer’s remorse. They might also feel resentful at recipients who requested big ticket items, so make sure to follow these tricks to keep your holiday spending reasonable.

End your holiday season in happy memories by putting these safeguards in place:

Save money when you mentally prepare yourself for purchases.

According to Good Housekeeping, there’s a real impact when you go gift buying. It’s called the Shopping Momentum Effect, and if you don’t keep it in check, this impulse to buy – and keep buying – could undo your holiday budget for the year. Plan for it in advance, and design your shopping trips to be short, sweet and focused on a list.

Forget about flash sales, and cut holiday spending.

Retailers invest millions into market research. They know what motivates people to spend their money, and they know how to use your emotions to keep your wallet open. One of the most effective holiday sales techniques is the flash deal. These surprise last-minute offers only last a limited time, upping the pressure to make a purchase immediately, before you have time to consider how it will impact your other bills.

Worse, many of these flash deals are a gateway to other sales. Printers need replacement ink, paper and warranties. TV’s need TV stands, surround sound speaker systems, DVD players, entertainment centers and more. Commit at the beginning of the season to avoid flash sales, and you could save a bundle toward planned presents your family, friends and conscience will appreciate more.

Set a reasonable holiday spending budget.

Financial experts recommend keeping your holiday expenses – including wrapping paper, travel and food – below 1.5 percent of your annual income or 20 percent of one month’s income. Unfortunately, that won’t cover travel costs for chunk of shoppers, so what alternatives do you have? It depends on how important the holidays are to you. If this is a major priority for your family, look into financing options, but only invest in those with manageable payment plans.

If you have bad credit, you may still be able to get a store credit card. Store card holders often grow rewards and get special offers as well. Some customers have reported bigger balances and easier approval in the store at the time of purchase. However, store cards also charge higher rates of interest, so make sure you understand how quickly your balance will grow while it’s being paid off.

Prioritize your holiday spending.

Too often, shoppers set an overall budget, head out to the stores and run out of money before they’ve purchased gifts for the most important people in their lives. Humans are hard-wired to want to make people happy. Science proves that giving makes us feel better than receiving. Add to that the effects of Shopping Momentum Effect, and you have a perfect recipe for lots of small gifts for virtually every neighbor, coworker and childhood friend you’re still in touch with on the Internet.

Prioritizing your gift-giving helps you make the most of every dollar you spend. Put the most important people at the top of your list to ensure their gifts are purchased before anyone else’s. Put thought into the types of gifts they might enjoy, and purchase with a purpose.

Use technology to find the biggest holiday shopping bargains.

Once you have a general idea of what you want to buy the most, you can use a variety of online shopping and sales app tools to find items at their lowest prices. A few of the top tools currently in use? Check out the following cost savers:

• ShopSavvy
• Flipp
• Retale
• BlackFriday.com

Visit your nearest Title Tree store for more holiday budgeting tips – or if you need a little help making ends meet right about now. Our financial services are fast, affordable and easy to work into any healthy budget.

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