How I Survive The Holiday Shopping Season

I’ve always enjoyed shopping for the holidays, but for a long time, I ended up spending too much money and feeling guilty about it. Then I’d groan with the bills came.

For the last 4 or 5 years, holiday shopping has been about as stress free as shopping can be. Here’s what I do: Every pay day, I take all the cash out of my wallet and put it in a box. That money is my Holiday Shopping Fund (HSF). When December rolls around, the HSF is all I can spend for holiday presents. I know exactly how much I have to spend, I can calculate what I’m going to spend for what, and when the cash is gone, I’m done shopping. This means that for any on-line purchases, I do have to go to the bank to deposit the required cash amount, then pay via an on-line system that takes the money directly from my checking — PayPal, Amazon, or my debit card. (I also have a set amount of cash I take out every payday, I pay cash for as much as I can, and when the cash is gone, there’s no going back to the well, unless there’s a REAL emergency.)

For the holidays, I stick my cash in a baggie and head downtown to shop. I pay cash for everything. And yes, that money tends to be a lot of $1.00 bills. Shrug.

I’m lucky in that my town has lots of great shopping. But now I never feel guilty and I NEVER have a credit card bill with holiday spending on it.

Do you have any holiday shopping secrets?



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