Tips to avoid the holiday spending hangover

By  | 

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) For the first time ever, shoppers are expected to spend more than $1 trillion on the holidays.

You want ot get the greatest gifts for everyone on your list, but overspending your paycheck is stressfull for both your wallet and your mind. A top wealth adviser with 6 Meridian shares some tips to help you avoid the holiday spending hangover.

Set a budget

Set a budget and stick with it. That means you should write down everyone you plan to purchase for and how much you want to spend on each person.

"When looking at your budget, don't forget you will have extra expenses," suggests Pam Smith, senior vice president at 6 Meridian. "You may need to buy a new outfit, additional food; also, if this is your first year being married or in a new home, then you may need to budget for some decorations."

It is not too late to start. Shoppers who are still looking for items on their list should write down future purchases. Writing down each item and the amount will help balnce remainng purchase costs with the remaining budget.

Shop sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are gone, but many new deals are taking their place.

Most retailers carry specials throughout the month of December. If the item is not on sale this week, chances are, it will be next week.

"Make sure, when you set out to shop, you have a list," warns Smith. "Impulse shopping will cause you to overspend."

Use your debit card or cash

One way Smith says shopers can avoid overspending at the mall or online is buy only purchasing with a debit card.

"If you decide to use credit, just make sure you're paying that credit card off. If you continue to carry that balance, you're going to spend more in interest than you spent on the gift on sale."

Not everyone needs a gift

"I think trying to create experiences rather than just buying gifts is important," says Smith. "Memories are easier to store than stuff."

Think ahead

It's never too early to start saving for next year's gifts. Start planning out how much to set aside in future months so the holidays don't drain the savings.