5 steps to curbing impulse shopping during the holiday rush

Presents are fun, a debt hangover isn't Overspending during the holidays is hard for everyone – the average American family is carrying almost $10K in debt.  Impulse shopping is a major reason for credit card debt and is a common problem for people with ADHD.

During the holidays it’s especially hard to keep impulse shopping urges under control.  Here are five steps to keep your spending from taking over during the holiday rush and giving you a debt hangover in January!

  1.  Make a budget:  Decide how much you have to spend now – before you start shopping.
  2. Make a list:  Write down the names of the people you want to buy for and what you want to get them.
  3. Prioritize:  Add up how much the items on your list cost.  If your list costs more than you have, brainstorm less expensive gifts to give so you keep within your budget.
  4. Keep it in cash:  Take only the cash you plan to spend when you go shopping.  That means leaving your debit and credit cards at home.  Put your holiday cash in separate compartment in your wallet.  When the money is gone, you are done shopping.  Period.  Don’t be tempted to use layaway plans to buy things you can’t afford.
  5. Avoid the mall:  If you stay away from where things are being sold, you won’t be as tempted to buy them!

Do you have other tricks you use to curb your shopping urges?  Please share them here.  Consider it your gift to helping someone else end the holiday season without a debt hangover.

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4 Responses

  1. Sarah Wright

    Sometimes gift cards can be a boon to keeping spending in line. It’s easy to limit your spending because you decide in advance how much to spend on each person and then you’re done. No more decisions have to be made and it’s that deciding process that can lead to impulse spending. Plus, the person who gets your gift card can use it on the post holiday sales!

  2. Ann Imrie Howlett

    Hi Sarah, Your ideas are great. I also do alot of Christmas shopping through internet shopping and charity giving. I give gifts through World Vision which means that communities in developing countries can get classroom supplies or clean water of other extremely useful things that will lead to independence and self sufficinecy . In Canada, we have World Vision which is extraordinary in its efficient use of funds for on the ground use. https://children.worldvision.ca/

  3. Lisa Kincaid

    What great tips!!! This season I’ve had to remind myself how “credit card bills” loom after the holidays. I’d rather purchase less, and have the ability to treat myself to something months later.

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