It happens to all of us. You dive into your holiday shopping and before you know it, you’ve spent far more than you originally expected. But why does it happen? Why do we overspend during the holidays? We’ll tell you the most common reasons why, and explain how to prevent them.
Reason 1: The Stores Are Tricky
When you’re actually shopping in a store, it’s easy to be tempted by your surroundings. Suddenly, you’re standing in line with far more than you came in for, and your budget has fallen by the wayside.
The remedy? Shop online, and compare prices before you buy. If you do want to go to the store, keep yourself focused and only buy what you set out to buy.
Reason 2: It Can Be Hard to Stop Buying Things for Others
It’s fun to shop for others. When you find a gift that’s perfect for someone, it can be difficult to say no. But if you don’t set limits, you’ll find yourself blowing past your budget with all the best intentions.
Fix this problem by making a list of people for whom you’ll buy gifts, and make a budget for all of those presents. Be stern with yourself about sticking to the budget, and adopt a less is more philosophy.
Reason 3: The Materialism of the Holidays is a Slippery Slope
It’s easy to get caught up in the spending side of the holiday season, but research has shown that the more you orient your holidays around spending, the less you enjoy the season.
Take some time this year to consider the deeper meaning of the holidays, and think about giving unconventional gifts that don’t involve money alongside your more traditional offerings.
Reason 4: The Holidays Can Be an Emotional Time
Many people feel lonely or sad during this time of year and may overcompensate by overspending. The solution? Think before you buy. Determining why you’re shopping, how you’re feeling at the moment, whether you need to make that purchase, and whether it would be better to wait is a good way to rein in your spending.
It’s also smart to ask yourself how you will pay for the item, and where you’ll put it. Thinking before spending can create the slight delay that might just put you back on the right path.
Reason 5: Waiting Too Late Results in Spending Too Much
When you procrastinate on your holiday shopping, you’re likely to spend too much. In the stores, your selection will be limited, and if you’re shopping online, you may end up wasting a lot of money on expedited shipping. It’s far better to shop early and avoid the mall entirely for the week leading up to a major holiday.
Need help making smart spending decisions over the holiday season? Don’t worry, we have your back.