The ongoing festive season is a great time to go on a shopping spree. Both online and offline retailers come up with discounts and offers to attract customers this time of the year. As one gets flooded with multiple choices, it is easy to get tempted into buying things one doesn’t need.
Unchecked shopping urges this season result in impulsive buying and overindulgence, upsetting your money plans. If you are planning to dive into the festive shopping offers, here are five smart money tips to follow this festive season.
Plan your festive spending
Like any other financial planning, budgeting is the key to festive shopping too. So to begin, start by calculating how much money you should spend for your festive shopping. Take an account of how much money you will be left with after paying your utility bills and other mandatory or important expenses.
If you need to use credit card or buy now pay later options, make sure you factor future repayments into your current budget so you know you can afford to pay them off quickly.
Once you have a budget in place, try to stick to it.
Understand the difference between Needs and Wants
While preparing your shopping list, segregate your needs and wants. Examine products based on their purpose and buy only if they are necessities. For instance, do not just go for a new phone because an upgraded version has recently been launched while your current one is serving you well.
If you have a “per person” budget for gifts don’t get caught spending more just because you think it’s the best present – no doubt they will appreciate whatever gift you can find within your budget.
The tussle between needs and wants can be controlled by effective budgeting and discipline.
Understand available financing options
There are different types of financing options for spending. But tread carefully and it’s always best to have prepared well in advance and use savings as opposed to debt.
Buy now pay later (BNPL) schemes have made it easier and convenient to purchase retail items – especially big-ticket items. But before opting for one, it is important to understand the pros and cons of each. Credit options like a credit card and BNPL may offer you an attractive interest-free credit period, but if you fail to repay during the set deadline, you will have to shell out interest or penalty on the outstanding amount.
BNPL is a convenient shopping scheme for consumers allowing them to pay later after shopping. It is a kind of short-term loan that you will ultimately have to repay. So before using this option, assess if you have a repayment plan in place.
Compare prices to get the best deal
It is always wise to compare the price of the products both online and offline. It is possible that an e-commerce website may offer you a better deal on any item or a local retail shop may give you an additional discount. If something is available cheaper online, you can always negotiate with a retail shop to match the price and offers.
So it’s important to research before you take the decision. Also while shopping online ensure that you are using a known and secure platform with a known return and exchange policy.
Make the best use of credit card reward points
Credit card reward points can help you save money by just redeeming the points that you have accumulated through your previous purchases. Cashback helps you get cash in your accounts when you use your credit cards at select stores and outlets. You can use the reward points to make a big-ticket purchase. The reward points will increase as you will shop more this festive season.
So, what is the hot tip? Planned shopping without disturbing your financial stability is best during the festive season. It is good to focus on need-based shopping and avoiding chasing our unlimited wants.
If you stay disciplined to your budget, you’ll feel in control and more likely enjoy the shopping experience, and lack of “bill shock” after Christmas!
Enjoy the festive season and Happy New Years!
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This article is prepared based on general information. It does not take into account individual financial objectives or needs and is not financial product advice.