Advice for sticking to budget while holiday shopping - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Advice for sticking to budget while holiday shopping

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - If you're on a budget this holiday shopping season, financial experts say you should shop with a purpose.

"The most common mistake is not planning," said financial advisor Karen

Jenkins. Experts

say don't lose focus inside of a nicely decorated store and start buying gifts for everyone. 

Another suggestion is to make a list of who you are shopping for and stick to it, then budget the amount of money you will spend on each person.

"Wanting to buy something versus needing to buy something is a huge gap," saidJenkinss.

And pay with cash instead of credit cards.

"You tend to be more conservative when you're paying with cash, than a credit card," she said.

"A credit card will allow you to go out and see something for $70 and you say, 'Oh let's get that and put it on a credit card,' when in actuality you probably only need to spend $25. So making sure you're not over exposing yourself going with excessive credit because I promise you, you're going to have that January credit card hangover when that invoice comes in"

Jenkins said saving money for holiday shopping in advance is a good idea.   Ask your bank about starting a Christmas club.  You deposit money throughout the year, and then you can withdraw the lump sum in November.

"All you have to say is, 'Is this within my plan? Is this within my budget?' And if it's not,walk away," said Jenkins.

If you don't have any money, consider homemade gift certificates. You can offer coupons for free babysitting, cleaning or dinner for two.

Copyright 2012 WIS.  All rights reserved.

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