Monday, December 19, 2011

10 Tips for Holiday Shopping

Each year Americans accumulate the largest amount of debt during the holiday season. If you don't have money to buy holidays gifts be honest with yourself, don’t go into debt to please someone else. January and February have the highest number of bankruptcies and divorces filed.

Christmas is not about how much money you spend or about giving gifts, it is about celebrating the birth of Christ and spending time with family and friends. Most times people buy holiday gifts for someone they don’t like or buy gifts that are returned. Don’t go into debt again. If you spent money you don’t have, take the gifts back to the store and save yourself the heartache of getting a big credit card bill in January. Here are 10 tips for holiday shopping.

1. Buy gifts during store sales. You can save anywhere from 20-70% off the original price.
2. Visit local vendors, you can probably haggle to good a good deal on the same items you find in the department store.
3. If you are good with arts and craft, think of creative gifts to give that you can make yourself.
4. Visit the dollar store to look for children's gifts.
5. If you have to buy gifts for several family members suggest a "Secret Santa" so only one person has to buy a gift for one person and set a limit on the amount spent.
6. Avoid buying gifts on Christmas Eve or the day before Christmas Eve. Selection is limited and lines at the register are longer. Out of desperation you may make bad choices and spend more spend than you have to.
7. Shop online, some companies waive shipping and handling fees during the holiday season.
8. Spend less money on gifts this year than you did the previous year.
9. If you have money after the holiday season and have paid all of your bills, buy gifts the day after Christmas. Department stores have great deals the day after Christmas and you may even get better deals than those offered during the Black Friday sales.
10. Make getting out of debt one of your new year's resolutions.

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