Purdue Extension Expert Offers Holiday Shopping Budget Tips

Christmas is one month from today, and the biggest shopping day of the year is Friday. Purdue Extension Health and Human Sciences Educator Julie Butus says the best way to avoid the post-holiday blues when you get your bank or credit card statements in January is to make a realistic plan before you head to the mall.

“Decide who you’re going to buy your gifts for. Set a limit. You might make some of the gifts. You might go shopping early and find really nice selections in the stores. The longer you wait, you tend to spend more,” said Butus.

Butus adds it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hype but suggests taking your time when it comes to buying big-ticket gifts.

“It’s a really good idea to sleep on a purchase, especially if it’s a fairly large purchase. You might think ‘oh yes, this is perfect’ and then the next morning you wake up and then you’re going ‘oh no, that wasn’t really what I wanted to buy,’” Butus said.

Butus also recommends leaving your plastic at home if possible.

“Try to pay cash instead of using your credit card. That’s sometimes a little challenging, but if we use a credit card we tend to spend a little more,” Butus said.

If you do use a credit card, Butus says you should keep careful track of the receipts and check them against your statement when it comes.