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1. Make a Budget. List who to buy for and how much you are thinking about spending on each person. Doing this helps to provide a visual guide for you to see how much you plan to spend for the entire season.
If you prefer pen to paper, grab your trusty notebook and favorite pen and get to work.
If you prefer an electronic alternative, Excel and sites like Trello or Evernote can help.
2. Track Your Budget. Online sites like Mint can be a great way to track all your shopping expenses and hold you to the budget you made.
If you prefer a paper trail, keep your receipts after your purchases. Then get your trusty notebook and pen to record what you’ve spent and compare it to your budget.
If not Excel works fine.
Here is an example of a tracking sheet below:
3. Stop the Impulse Purchases. Retailers are aware of all tips and tricks for attracting impulse buying. According to CNBC 80% of young shoppers made impulse purchases in 2018.
It’s not easy to walk by that tempting endcap at your favorite store without resisting the urge to put another trinket or gadget in your cart. That’s why writing things down can reduce the need for impulse buying.
Here’s a BONUS TIP (for next year…)
Start saving earlier.If you see you are spending more and more each year, why not try something different?
Put away a specific dollar amount way each month into a high-yield savings account starting in January. Then only spend what you have saved.
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It’s simple to move over your direct deposits and recurring payments.
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