Ten Holiday Spending Tips

San Diego, CA. "Developing a strong resistance to seductive appeals to spend more money than one has allotted for the holiday gift giving season, just barely a month away, is a main goal among many John and Sue Workhards this year. It seems to be especially hard for some people not to overspend during the holidays because of an emotional need to express love, appreciation and friendship," said Paul Richard, a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) and Executive Director of the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), an award winning group based in San Diego, CA.

Developing better spending techniques is one way people can help eliminate overspending and keep from getting all charged-up with plastic again this holiday season. Here are some useful spending tips and ideas for holiday shoppers from the ICFE.

1) Create a written plan for holiday spending and gift giving a month or two in advance. Include your gift list, possible gifts, dollar amounts, and alternative choices.

2) Establish spending limits for gifts for each person on your list and start looking for bargains early.

3) If it has been a challenging year financially, you need to shrink your holiday gift list. Begin by talking with those you exchange gifts with, perhaps suggesting not exchanging gifts or mutually observing much lower dollar-limits on gifts.

4) Separate shopping trips (when comparing prices, quality, value, etc.) from spending trips (when making a purchase), and resist taking cash, credit cards, or a checkbook on the shopping trips.

5) Wait for those sales! Look over the advertising and sale flyers for items you intend to purchase.

6) Ask retailers when the items you are interested in buying are coming on sale. Most retailers will reveal sale dates because they don't want you to shop their competition.

7) Spend cash and avoid using credit cards. Charge cards tend to promote indiscriminate spending. Credit card users often say they had no idea how much they spent on the holidays until the credit card bills arrive in January or February of the next year.

8) Liquidators, buying clubs, and factory outlet stores usually offer lower prices. Bulk buying with other family members or friends can also yield savings.

9) Giving gifts to adults on New Year's Day is also very special. You can really take advantage of all those after Christmas sales which begin the day after.

10) Make more of your gifts at home. A freshly baked loaf of bread, cookies, and desserts are always appreciated. Also arts, crafts, needle-work, or a collage of photographs of you and or your family make wonderful gifts too.

This holiday season manage your money so expenses don't exceed income. Its important because everyday spending decisions, especially the credit based ones, will have a far greater negative effect on one's financial future than any investment decision one is likely to ever make.