Holiday Shopping Procrastinator's Guide

Holiday Shopping Procrastinator's Guide graphic

Some people have been finished their holiday shopping for weeks, while others are just getting started. If you're in the latter group, Clarifi is here to help, especially since the temptation to spend will be everywhere.

Holiday Spending Expected to Rise in 2017

This year, consumers say they're planning to spend an average of $967.13, up 3.4 percent from last year, according the annual Prosper Insights and Analytics Survey.

Before you open up your wallet, it's important to ask yourself if the gifts you're buying will be worth the hassle and debt later.

Here are our money tips for the last-minute holiday shopper:

Make a list and check it twice. Santa has been doing this for centuries and so should you. Put together a list that includes both what you need and who it's for. Otherwise, you'll be more likely to buy more things than you need.

Speaking of paper, save every receipt. Did you know that last-minute gifts are more likely to get returned? (Not really, but we can see why that makes sense). To make sure you (or the recipient) can get your money back if need be, keep all receipts. This will also help you better track your spending along the way.

Have the 'gift talk' with friends and family about gifts. When you're down to the wire with shopping, it's best to be direct. Talk to your friends and family; decide if you will exchange gifts and think about setting a dollar limit. This can take a lot of the guess work out of gift giving.

Get creative and make it or bake it. If you're looking to spend less on gifts, you can always just send a thoughtful card; you can also get creative and make or bake gifts for others. Gifts with your personal touch will have more meaning.

A credit card limit is not a challenge. Overspending now will have its consequences when that credit card bill comes due in January. Consider using the same credit card for all holiday expenses to better track your spending. And if you really want to limit your spending, only take cash with you into the store.

At the end of the day, the holidays are about much more than shopping or finding that perfect gift. Making smart spending decisions at this time of year will keep you financially healthy, happy and debt free in the New Year.

Clarifi Can Help Year-Round

Our counselors can help you put together a realistic spending plan and identify ways to save money year-round. You can make a free financial health appointment online or call 800-989-2227.