Consumer Expert Offers Budget Savvy Shopping Tips

For many families, shopping for Christmas carries a hefty price tag, especially if items on the gift list include expensive game systems and other electronic gadgets. They are among this year’s most sought-after items. Purdue Extension Health and Human Sciences Educator Julie Butus says it’s a good idea to keep expectations in check.

“Decide on what it is you want to purchase, what you can afford, and maybe you do buy a big-ticket item. Layaway is becoming more and more popular again, and that is a way not to have to over-extend yourself. You’ll have the gift paid for by the time you bring it home,” Butus said.

Butus also recommends making a realistic shopping plan.

“It’s a great idea to set goals and know that you don’t want to overspend over the holidays. Even though we have good plans not to overspend, we still may. Don’t beat yourself up, but do try to keep your spending in line so that come January you won’t be devastated when you see the bills that are coming in,” said Butus.

Butus says paying for gifts with cash is a good way to keep from over-spending. If you do pay with credit cards, hang on to your receipts and check them against your statements when you get them in January.