Costly Holiday Shopping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
In case you missed the announcement from the reigning Christmas Queen, Mariah Carey, the holiday season has officially begun. This is the time of year when people start getting swept up in the holiday shopping frenzy and make costly holiday shopping mistakes.
Before you get caught up in the madness, avoid these costly holiday shopping mistakes.
1. Overbuying – one of the most expensive holiday shopping mistakes
The holidays are a time for giving, and unfortunately, that often means giving in to temptation and overindulging in gifts for loved ones – and ourselves. It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of the season and overspend, but there are some very good reasons why you should think twice before going overboard this holiday season.
One of the biggest problems with overbuying during the holidays is the number of returns that come after Christmas. According to a recent study, nearly 30% of holiday purchases are returned, and that number jumps to 40% for items purchased online. That means that for every 10 gifts you buy, you can expect at least three of them to be sent back.
Not only is this a huge hassle, but it also wastes time and money. Returns cost retailers billions of dollars every year, and that cost is passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. So when you’re out shopping this holiday season, think about whether you really need to buy that 10th pair of socks or if you could get by with just nine.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the holidays are about more than just giving and receiving gifts. They’re also a time to connect with loved ones and create memories that will last a lifetime. So instead of spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need, focus on making meaningful connections with the people who matter most to you.
2. Not Checking for Sales
Sales during the holidays are often overlooked by shoppers. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and forget to check for sales. But missing out on holiday sales can be a costly mistake.
Here’s why people don’t check for sales during the holidays:
They’re too busy.
They assume that everything is full price.
They don’t want to deal with the crowds.
They don’t know where to look.
They’re not sure what they’re looking for.
Here’s why you should make checking for sales a priority during the holidays:
1. You can save a lot of money.
2. You can find unique gifts that are hard to find at full price.
3. You can avoid the crowds by shopping online.
4. You can take advantage of free shipping offers.
5. You can get your holiday shopping done early.
When it comes to holiday shopping, timing is everything. Many stores offer great sales leading up to the holidays, so be sure to check for deals before you start buying. So don’t forget to check for sales when you’re doing your holiday shopping. It could save you a lot of money in the long run.
3. Not Using Coupons – a major holiday shopping mistake
Another way to save money on holiday shopping is to use coupons. Many stores offer coupons that can be used for holiday shopping, so be sure to take advantage of them. You may be able to find some great deals this way.
This year, avoid the holiday shopping headache by planning ahead and using coupons.
Here’s where and how to find the best coupons for holiday shopping:
1. Check your favorite stores’ websites. Most stores offer coupons on their websites, so be sure to check before you start shopping.
2. Sign up for store loyalty programs. Many stores offer loyalty programs that give members access to exclusive coupons and discounts. Signing up is usually free and easy, so it’s definitely worth it if you do a lot of shopping at that particular store.
3. Use a coupon aggregator. There are a number of websites that collect coupons from all over the internet and compile them in one place. This can be a great way to find coupons for stores you might not have thought to check.
4. Follow your favorite stores on social media. Stores often offer exclusive coupons and discounts to their social media followers, so it’s definitely worth following your favorite stores on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
5. Search for coupons online. A simple Google search can sometimes turn up coupons for the stores you’re interested in shopping at. Just be sure to check the expiration date on the coupons before you use them.
By following these tips, you can save a lot of money on your holiday shopping this year. And who knows, maybe you’ll even have some money left over to buy yourself a little something special.
4. One of the most common and costly holiday shopping mistakes: buying impulsively
The holidays are a time of year when people are more likely to spend impulsively. Whether it’s buying gifts for loved ones or splurging on festive decorations, there’s no shortage of opportunities to overspend during the holiday season.
While it can be tempting to indulge in some holiday spending, it’s important to be mindful of the potential pitfalls. Impulse spending can lead to financial problems. The truth is that holiday debt can take months or even years to pay off. And the interest you’ll accrue on that debt can end up costing you more than the gifts themselves.
If you’re already struggling to make ends meet, the last thing you need is the added stress of holiday debt. So before you start your holiday shopping, take a close look at your budget and make sure you’re not putting yourself in a financial hole.
The holidays are a special time of year, but they don’t have to be a financial nightmare. By being mindful of your spending and staying within your budget, you can enjoy all the joys of the season without putting yourself in debt. So this holiday season, resist the temptation to overspend and focus on what really matters
5. Not Planning Ahead
If you’re one of those people who waits until the last minute to do your holiday shopping, you might want to rethink your strategy. Not only is it a huge pain to deal with the crowds at the mall, but you’re also likely to spend a lot more money than you need to.
Here’s why not planning your holiday shopping ahead of time is a costly mistake:
1. You’ll pay more for rushed shipping.
2. You’ll miss out on early bird sales and discounts.
3. You’ll be more likely to impulse buy and end up with items you don’t really need or want.
4. You’ll have to deal with the stress of trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list at the last minute.
5. You’ll be so exhausted from all the holiday shopping that you won’t even enjoy the holidays.
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy everything. Be mindful of the additional pressures you face this time of year, and what you actually need. Resist the urge to impulse buy. You’ll save yourself money and stress in the long run.
Also, remember stores and brands will try all sorts of tricks to get you to spend more money this time of year. Be aware of the tactics they’re using and don’t let yourself be taken advantage of.
7. Letting holiday stress impact you can cost you.
Unfortunately, this holiday shopping stress can cause us to make some costly mistakes. For example, we might be more likely to overspend when we’re feeling stressed out. Or we might buy things that we don’t really need just to try and relieve our stress.
So if you’re feeling stressed out this holiday season, try to take a step back and relax. Take some time for yourself and don’t let the holiday shopping stress get to you. It’s not worth it in the end.
Seven tips for avoiding costly holiday shopping mistakes:
1. Make a list of people you need to buy gifts for and set a budget for each person.
This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s easy to get carried away when you’re out shopping. By making a list beforehand, you can stay focused on what you need to buy and avoid impulse purchases.
2. Check for sales before you start buying.
Many stores offer great sales leading up to the holidays, so you may find some great gifts at a fraction of the cost. Also, remember to comparison shop. With the advent of online shopping, it’s easier than ever to compare prices before you make a purchase. Take advantage of this by doing some research to find the best deal on the items you need.
3. Use coupons!
Many stores offer coupons that can be used for holiday shopping. Take advantage of them.
4. Don’t buy impulsively.
It can be easy to get caught up in the moment and buy something impulsively when you’re out holiday shopping.
5. Plan ahead!
If you wait until the last minute to start your holiday shopping, you’re likely to make some costly mistakes. This is the time of year when people start getting swept up in the holiday shopping frenzy.
6. Don’t be afraid to haggle.
If you’re shopping in person, don’t be afraid to negotiate a better price with the seller. It never hurts to ask, and you may be surprised at how much you can save.
7. Avoid using credit cards.
If you can, try to pay cash for your purchases or use a debit card instead of a credit card. This will help you avoid getting into debt and paying interest on your purchases.