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Simmons Insights

Holiday Spending
family hugging and laughing

'Tis the season to — go into debt? The costs of holiday gifts, travel, and festive meals add up quickly if you're not prepared. Unless you plan for seasonal spending, you'll likely ring in the new year with a healthy dose of holiday debt.


Cozy up to these three tips to enjoy a debt-free holiday season.


  1. Create a realistic budget. Start by writing down your holiday plans. Whether they include taking a family trip to visit grandparents or hosting a holiday dinner with close friends, assign a dollar amount to each gathering and establish a realistic budget.


Be sure to include often-forgotten expenses associated with each get-together, like travel meals and holiday decor. When you stick to your budget and avoid impulse shopping, you're more likely to avoid overspending.


  1. Compare prices. Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren't the only days you can snag deep discounts on holiday gifts. Retailers aggressively compete for sales all season long.


Many retailers sell the same products at different prices, so shop around before you buy. Spending a few minutes comparing advertised prices could allow you to put an extra present under the tree without abandoning your holiday budget.


  1. Avoid self-gifting. Self-gifting is often that "something extra" that magically appears on your shopping list after you've created a holiday spending plan. Advertisers do an especially good job of convincing consumers they deserve expensive items at year-end.


Save up enough cash for that special purchase instead of paying for it with a credit card or loan this holiday season.

Don't let holiday debt put a freeze on your financial goals. Spend wisely now for a Happy New Year!