According to a weekend survey by the National Retail Federation, Americans spent an average of $299.60 per person over the Black Friday weekend, with an average of $229.56 toward gifts. Holiday shopping is underway, and it’s time to get organized before we dip into accounts that weren’t meant for dipping in (cough, cough, your savings).
What’s Your Shopping Plan?
Do we have a method to the madness? For many, Black Friday marks the beginning of our holiday shopping. With ongoing deals both online and in stores, it’s easy to become swayed by appealing steals. But however impressed your mom would be by a new iPad, it’s critical to come up with a game plan before you go too far…
Plan First, Shop Second
With a mile-long list of people to buy for, and a mile-long list of gifts to buy, getting overwhelmed is inevitable. Especially with holiday deals screaming at you from behind glass windows and computer screens. Creating a holiday shopping list will prevent you from running out of the mall screaming.
And the danger of NOT creating a holiday shopping list is real: If I leave the house before creating a holiday shopping list, I become paralyzed with shopper-indecision. I will go into stores, and stay there, pondering over what to get, then proceed to wander aimlessly until I can recollect myself. Then, I usually leave empty handed, and have to return for round two. Or, you could be the complete opposite, and buy too many gifts that you did not truly intend to buy in the first place.
So, the point is to create a simple chart of what you will get, where you will get it, and for whom. Here is a sample list. (Hint: comparing prices online while in the stores is a good way to price shop to make sure you’re getting the best deal. If you can do it beforehand, even better!)
| Name | Gift | Cost | Store/Online
Don’t go overboard
So you received a big bonus this year, and you have some extra spending cash. That doesn’t mean you have to wipe out your accounts this holiday season. The true joy of Christmas comes from giving meaningful, thoughtful gifts, not buying out Walmart.
Save some, too
With all of the extra spending, it’s likely that your savings account will take a minor blow over the season. No big deal. The key to combatting overspending, is to save more. Challenge yourself to save some money over the holiday season. My friend Ebeth in Michigan is doing just that! Her challenge is to save a dollar amount, corresponding with the date. For example: December 1, save $1, December 2, save $2, December 3, save $3 and so on. Try it!