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Focus Season

How to avoid overspending this holiday season

Believe it or not, the holiday season is fast approaching. While last year you likely spent less on gifts and travel because of the pandemic, this year things are more normal. That return to normalcy could mean overspending. An American Express report found that 38 percent of consumers expect to spend more this holiday season than they did last year. With that in mind, here are some tips to avoid going overboard.

Revise First

Review your budget and set a separate holiday spend list. Be realistic about what you can spend and what sacrifices you need to make to free up the extra cash.

Look Out

Be on the lookout for deals and coupons. Let’s say one of your loved ones needs a new tablet. Keep an eye out for Black Friday deals, as electronics are often included in those offers. Do a thorough search for coupons and discounts before you buy anything. And be sure to shop around; don’t just buy the first option available.

Keep Track

Make sure you keep a detailed list of everything that you buy. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit, but that’s how you could overspend.

Avoid Retail Cards

You might be tempted to open a retailer’s credit card, but it’s usually not a good idea. Yes, they might offer a tempting deal to get you hooked, but interest rates that come with these cards make any good deal not worth it. The average interest rate for all credit cards in 2019 was about 14 percent. Meanwhile, the average interest rate for retail credit cards was in the 20 percent range. Be smart about your spending this holiday season and you’ll be merrier.

-Chris O'Shea/SavvyMoney

November 2021

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