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Shopping in October? Include it in your Budget

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Published on October 19, 2020

‘Twas two weeks before Halloween and all through your house, your WiFi was active and so was your mouse.

That’s because Amazon Prime, along with several other retail giants such as Target and Walmart, were all vying for your holiday dollars Oct. 13-14.

Did you shop? Did you splurge? Did you spend just a little? Don’t worry, there are no right or wrong answers. In fact, if you used these two days to get your holiday shopping done and got the most for your money, congratulations!

Online shoppingYour challenge now will be resisting the urge to keep shopping. After all, mid-October will be a distant memory come Thanksgiving, and since you saved so much money, you might be tempted to make it an extra special holiday with even more shopping on Black Friday.

That’s what advertisers are hoping you’ll do. If you’re not mindful of your spending, instead of saving money doing your holiday shopping in October, you can end up busting your budget.

Here’s an idea. For those who shop with a budget in mind, take a few moments to examine your finances and set up your holiday budget now. Yes, it’s still October, but you’ve started your shopping early so why not set up your budget early so no spending is overlooked. Be sure to include the holiday spending you’ve already done. Some other things to consider:

  • Are you counting the sale price or the original price of the item when your adding up who gets what. Keep in mind that in 2018, MarketWatch reported that parents spend between $400 and $500 per child during the holidays.
  • Are you supplying the travel expenses for a family member to get home for the holidays. If so, that cost should be considered part of the budget.
  • Figure out who’s hosting the family party and plan the menu early. The cost of the dinner and extras, such as baking supplies, should be added to your budget.
  • Are you planning to replace those old outdoor lights? Decorating should be a part of the budget too. Actually, any spending you wouldn’t normally do should be included in your budget.

Making a budget, and then sticking to it, can make for happier holidays, and make the other 11 months of the year a lot less stressful. Happy holiday shopping. Be safe, be smart, and stick to that budget. You’ll be happy you did.

Community Choice has a number of resources to help you set up a budget and tips for staying safe while shopping this holiday season. Earlier this year, we posted blogs on online safety tips  and how to set up a digital wallet. We also have some great information on overall financial education and wellness on our website.

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