5 Tips for Louisiana Shoppers So You Don’t Go Broke for Christmas
Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here. If you want to get great gifts, but not destroy your own bank account, you are not alone.
NerdWallet.com reports in their annual holiday shopping guide that people are going to buy gifts for Christmas, but that they are closely going to be watching what they spend and some people say they will have to pair down the list of who is going to get a gift.
The prices of everything seem to continue going up. While prices for things like eggs have dropped to before the pandemic levels, most other goods and services have been dramatically impacted by inflation. And, prices aren't going to go down anytime soon.
Looking back on 2022, NerdWallet says that 52% of people went into debt last year to pay for Christmas. So, maybe there are some things we can think of now to help us save more money this year.
Cut Down on the Number of People Who Get Gifts
One of the biggest tips from NerdWallet is simple. Just make the decision to cut down the number of people you will give gifts to this year.
You can have an open discussion with your family and friends, and make an agreement that you won't exchange gifts this year.
If you're nervous about how to start the conversation with your friends and family, pull up this article and have an honest conversation. You might be surprised to find that the ones you love are thinking about cutting down on their gift-giving as well.
Make a Budget and Stick to It
Another great tip to make you don't spend way too much and then end up with a punch of debt, is to make a budget and stick to it, suggests medium.com.
You need to realistically think about what you can afford for each person you are buying for and simply don't go over your budget.
This is just a common-sense strategy that can be hard to accomplish, but each time you think about overspending remind yourself about the stress that comes with having to pay off credit card debt according to Voya Financial.
You could also pick one friend you are extremely close to and give them a copy of your budget. Show them your receipts and they can help you stay honest, but you also have to be honest with yourself.
Don't Charge Anything; Use Cash
In addition to considering making a budget and cutting back on the amount of people you give to, a third option is to use cash.
If you only have a certain amount of money to spend then make sure you use cash to make your purchases. OnPoint Community Credit Union says if you only use cash then you lose the temptation to go for more extravagant gifts that you can't pay for. It's easy to think you'll pay for it later.
Those rates on credit cards and the balances they keep month to month make it a painful process to pay off in the end. What have you really saved? You usually end up spending way more when you just charge something.
It's Okay to Use What You Have and Look for Deals
How many times have you pushed around a gift card you are never going to use? Self.com says it's okay to take that card to the store and buy something for someone on your list.
They also recommend looking for any sales and deals that you can get.
Even if there is only a portion of money left on a gift card, "Maybe you can use those extra Starbucks dollars to help buy your coworker a new tumbler for their commute or put leftover Sephora money toward a luxurious lip balm for your friend who never anywhere without a stick."
Just be sure to pick something that the person would really want advises writer, Lyndsey Bryan-Podvin.
If You Have a Talent, Why Not a Make Present
Look, I don't knit, or do woodworking, but I have so many talented friends and family members. I am always so excited to receive the gifts they have made for me.
If you're looking to save some money why not put some of your talents to work? Even if you are broke and you don't know how to make anything, you can always make up a certificate on your computer offering your siblings free babysitting.
Get creative with your skills and you will often find that you can offer something from the heart that will last for longer than a $300 gift some electronic device they stop using after six months.
Here's a hint for food lovers like me. When you gift someone a homecooked meal or give them something like gumbo you made to put away in the freezer it's much more personal than the gift card you might have thought of giving.