Daily Dupaco

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Don't bust your budget: Map your holiday spending

Gift givers are feeling especially generous this year, with holiday spending expected to increase nearly 5 percent over last year.

The National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey found the average person celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah will spend $804.42, up from last year’s actual $767.27.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at where consumers will spend more:

  • $459.87 on gifts for family, up from $432
  • $80 on gifts for friends, up from $75
  • $26.23 on gifts for co-workers, up from $24.52
  • $30.43 on gifts for others, including babysitters and pets, up from $26.65

The key to navigating holiday shopping is to create a spending plan, and stick to it. Many Dupaco members are already one step ahead, having saved more than $4 million in their Holiday Club accounts.

As another season of shopping begins, keep these three tips in mind:

  1. Make a list. Make a list of everyone you want to buy for, how much you will spend on them and what you will buy. Account for sales tax and shipping costs, stocking stuffers, candy, cards and postage, donations for those less fortunate, holiday parties, travel and holiday baking. It all adds up.
  2. If necessary, reevaluate your budget. If some items cost more than you expected, consider making some of your gifts, buying for fewer people by suggesting a name exchange or just spending time together without gifts.
  3. Look into different means. If you are still short, a loan from your local financial institution – NOT a high-risk, high-rate payday lender – is going to be your best option. But only borrow what you need. Credit cards can be an option, but only if you have a way of paying them off quickly.

By Emily Kittle

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