Consumers should create a holiday spending budget to make for happier holidays.
Holiday spending statistics according to a national survey by Experian:
- 56% of people surveyed said they spend too much during the holiday season.
- 55% of people surveyed feel stressed about their finances during the holidays.
- 43% of people surveyed said the extra expense makes the holidays hard to enjoy.
- 31% of people have gone into debt from unexpected holiday purchases.
So what can you do?
Create a list of who you need to buy gifts for and how much you are comfortable spending on each person. Determining set amounts up front will keep you focused and on budget.
By avoiding the last-minute shopping rush, you'll find better deals and avoid the pressure to overspend.
Make sure you're aware of every dollar you spend to keep yourself accountable.
Remember, things like hostess gifts, baking or cooking supplies and shipping costs can sneak up to bite your holiday budget — with costs averaging nearly $300*.
Only use credit cards if you can afford to pay them off when you receive your statement. It's also wise to look over your statements after the holidays to see how your spending unfolded. You can create your plan to knock holiday debt down, too, to implement in post-holiday months to keep your credit utilization ratio down.
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