1. Set a budget and stick to it. December can be a more expensive month than others, due to the holidays and the festivities that come with them. Before you start your holiday spending, create a budget so you know how much you have to spend. And remember, gifts aren’t the only additional item on your budget in December. In addition to gift buying, make sure to budget for other holiday expenditures, such as taxi fares, any travel expenses and that new outfit for the holiday party.
2. Before buying, do your research. As with investments, do your research before buying gifts. Make sure to compare prices between retailers and look for coupons so you don’t overpay. Stay in-the-know about retailer’s sales by subscribing to their email lists or following them on social media.
3. Don’t let feelings of goodwill get the best of you. Scam artists will prey on feelings of goodwill and generosity during the holiday season by encouraging potential victims to donate money to a phony charity or cause. On the flip side, many legitimate charities do require increased generosity from donors during December, so how do you tell which is which? If you’re inclined to donate, be cautious and check out the organization you’re considering before you do. Find out here if a charity is registered in Canada to help you with your donation decisions.
4. Be wary of online shopping. As soon as Cyber Monday hits, the internet is full of holiday sales, enticing consumers with unbelievable deals. While many of these online deals are from legitimate retailers, scam artists may also be luring you onto a spoofed website that is fake. Be sure to check the authenticity of a website before putting your personal information at risk. Learn more about shopping safely online here.
5. If you overspend, tweak your budget to keep it balanced. If you find yourself overspending on the holidays in December, consider cutting back on discretionary items such as lunch at the sandwich shop or paying for parking – make your meals at home and take transit instead. The holidays are also a great time to pick up part-time seasonal employment if you are in need of extra cash.
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