WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) – Holiday shopping is always a challenge, and it’s hard enough finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
But do everything within your budget? Even harder.
Amy Elliott likes to get a head start with her holiday shopping, and her sure-fire way to stay on budget is to find deals.
“They have all the deals wherever you go. Look in the newspaper, Google, you can Google whatever you want for kids or for adults,” Elliott said.
Organization is key for Elliott, and it’s NerdWallet’s first rule of thumb for anyone trying to stay on budget.
Kimberly Palmer, personal finance expert at NerdWallet, said staying organized ensures all purchases are necessary.
“A lot of people have a hard time buying twice, buying more than one gift when they really didn’t mean to, especially when shopping for so many weeks for the holidays,” Palmer said.
One app she recommends for this is the Santa Bag app.
There you can set your budget, track your purchases, and make sure you don’t miss anyone on your list.
Phone apps aren’t the only thing that can help, browser extensions help too.
Palmer recommends Honey, which can automatically find and apply discount codes while shopping, and Camelizer, which tracks the price history of products on Amazon.
“You want to make sure you make that purchase when the price is lowest. This year it’s really hard to predict which day is the best. It might not be ‘Black Friday’ that is the best. day to shop, it might be another day, ”Palmer said.
Supply shortages can be the cause of budget overruns, Palmer says.
Especially if a loved one has died on a specific product.
“If you want to make sure you give someone a certain Lego set or the latest smartwatch, or Fitbit, or whatever you want to make sure you have, if you see it in the store, you probably want to go from forward and buy it, ”Palmer said.
Credit cards can be useful, especially those that offer cash back.
But beware, Palmer says more and more people are taking longer to pay off vacation credit card purchases.
“Every year we find out that over a quarter of people are still repaying their credit card payments from the last holiday season. So it’s a really dangerous road,” Palmer said.
Of course, the pressures of the holidays are more than enough to motivate an impulse buy.
Palmer says if there is too much, breathe.
“Leave the store, put your stuff aside, maybe ask the store to put it on hold for you, if you shop online take a break too, sometimes we just need a mental break before you go. make the purchase, ”she said. noted.
When budgeting, Palmer recommends including decorations and any trips you will be taking, which will help you stay on top of all your expenses.
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