On Your Side: 4 Holiday shopping mistakes to avoid

Published: Dec. 6, 2019 at 5:39 PM CST
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How's that Christmas shopping budget going?

Research shows last year nearly half of us woke up Christmas morning in debt. Shoppers went overboard. We're talking hundreds of dollars that look months to pay off. How does that happen? Splurging.

Now's a good time to review your budget and shopping list.

1.You don't have to buy for everyone.

Remember that list you made? Stick to it. Talk it over with your family.

"That can be a sensitive subject for anyone. You never know how much everyone makes and this kid wants this .. we all have different likes. We have sat down as a family and said we are going to do Secret Santa," said Kyle Short with BluCurrent Credit Union.

2. Don't shop with several cards.

Consider all holiday shopping on one credit card. That helps keep track of expenses and reward points.

3. Use caution with store credit cards.

You can save big, but this requires discipline. Make payments on time and pay off that balance before the no-interest promotion is over. Bottom line, you don't want Christmas debt in 2020.

"You have vacations coming up. Taxes you may owe. Then you have all these payments you might have deferred or credit cards come due. So it all hits at once," said Short.

4. Self-gifting is a thing.

Another big problem is self-gifting. More than half of us spend an average of $130 on ... ourselves.

Remember, it's the thought that counts. Homemade gifts -- like crafts or baked good are cheap and meaningful.