JACKSON, Miss– Blowing the budget and buyer’s remorse are common symptoms after a round of holiday shopping. News Mississippi wants to prevent some of that from happening this year.
It’s a three phase plan of holiday saving:
Phase One: Before The Store
“Have a plan. Think through your list of people and know what you want to get them,” says Mike Morgan, Visiting Professor of Finance at Southern Miss, “Do your homework. You may find a good deal in the store, but you want to do your homework online, too.”
Before hitting the store, there’s another valuable piece of advice.
“If you’re married,” Morgan warns, “you want to talk about the plan and agree on it. If you split off in different directions, you may spend more.”
Phase Two: During The Shopping Trip
“Studies show you tend to spend less when you’re shelling out cash,” says Morgan, “using the card is just too easy.” Take out cash and use just that at the store.
But the money isn’t the only part, there’s psychology involved.
“There may be a great deal on a television, but there’s also high profit margin items near that tv that are not a good deal,” says Morgan. Keep that in mind when that blu-ray player is conveniently placed next to that low-priced set.
And if you don’t take cash to the store, keep in mind the budget from Phase One.
“Don’t use your credit card limit as your budget,” warns Morgan.
Phase Three: Planning For Next Year
Lastly, it’s possible to start now for next season so you’re not financially stretched.
“Make up your mind to start early for next year,” says Morgan, “your best barometer for what to save for next year is what you spent this year and last year.”
But before starting for next year, take care of this year.
“First things first, pay off that credit card debt for this year,” says Morgan, “Then start saving for next year.”