Whether you’re a last minute shopper or like to plan ahead, you could probably use some help reducing your holiday shopping costs. Here are ways to use apps and other tools to keep your spending under control:
1. Create a holiday spending plan.
A deal is only great if you can afford it. A sale isn’t enough of a reason to buy something if you don’t have the funds. Deal blogger Tracie Fobes of PennyPenchinMom.com explains that it can be easy to overspend during the holidays. She not only recommends setting a limit for the holiday gifts you plan to purchase, but also believes you should set one for your food, décor and other categories. She recommends using cash or a debit card rather than credit, too.
If you go with the cash or debit spending route, check your balance beforehand and make sure you have enough in your account before shopping. Use your bank’s mobile app to check out how much you can spend before you enter the store. You don’t want to tack on an extra 35 dollars or more in overdraft fees to your purchase. Also, if you happen to split this account with your significant other, be sure to coordinate spending.
2. Be a receipt stalker.
Finding it hard to keep up with a big wad of receipts after shopping? Then keep track of them digitally with the OneReceipt app. If you find out that something you purchased isn’t quite a fit for the recipient on your list after you get it home, then this app gives you a heads up on return policy expiration dates so you can get your money back.
3. Make a list and check it twice.
If you have the Pinterest app on your phone, use it to search for free printables to organize your shopping lists. You can even create a board just to store deals, gift ideas, shopping lists and more. If you have the tradition of shopping the day after Thanksgiving, go in with a plan of attack. The personal finance website ChristianPF.com has a free printable just to map out the Black Friday deals.
Source: U.S. News & World Report | Karen Cordaway