San Diego, CA - Overspending
takes on many forms. It is absolutely rampant during the
holiday gift-buying season. The most common form of
overspending is not spending more money than one earns or
has in savings and relying heavily on borrowing, as many
people might suspect. No, the most common form of
overspending is simply paying too much for things.
Consumers who do not take the time to comparison shop
usually end up paying about 20 to 30% more, over the long
term, for goods and services than those who do.
Paying too much for things is most often done by
individuals and families at the grocery stores. Some 30
cents, on average, of every take-home dollar is spent on
household and grocery items. If someone needs to make an
immediate impact on their spending-plan for household and
grocery items, begin by looking over the sale flyers,
making a list, checking it twice, and then utilize coupons
Not too many of America's John and Sue Workhards are
developing a strong, healthy resistance to seductive
appeals to spend more money than they may have planned for
gift giving season. Because it is the Christmas holidays,
it seems to be especially hard for some people not to
overspend, many citing an emotional need to express love,
appreciation and friendship.
Developing better spending techniques is one way people
can help eliminate impulse buying, overspending and keep
from getting all charged-up. Here are some useful spending
tips and ideas for holiday shoppers to help you get a
better value for your dollars.
1) Create a written plan for holiday spending and gift
giving. Include your gift list, possible gifts, dollar
amounts, where the items might be on sale and
include some alternative choices.
2) Establish spending limits for gifts for each person on
your list and start looking for bargains early.
3) If it has been a challenging year financially, shrink
your holiday gift list. Begin by talking with those family
members and close friends you may exchange gifts with,
perhaps suggesting not exchanging gifts this year or
mutually observing much lower dollar-limits on gifts that
you do exchange.
4) Separate shopping trips (when comparing prices,
quality, value, etc.) from spending trips (when actually
making a purchase). On the shopping part of the trips,
resist taking cash, debit or credit cards, or a checkbook.
This will help minimize temptation and impulse purchases.
5) Watch for those sales! Look over the advertising and
sale flyers for items you intend to purchase. Go-online
and look for special coupons or rebates.
6) Ask retailers when the items you are interested in
buying are coming on sale. Most retailers will reveal sale
dates because they don't want you to shop their
7) Spend cash and avoid using credit cards. Charge cards
tend to promote indiscriminate spending. Credit card users
often say they had no idea how much they spent on the
holidays until the credit card bills arrive in January or
February of the next year. Be very careful also about
stores that offer extra discounts to customers who sign-up
for a store charge card at the time of purchase. They do
this for a reason. The studies show customers who have a
store charge card will visit the store twice as often as a
cash buyer, will spend twice as much as a cash buyer and
will make twice as many transactions as a cash buyer.
8) Liquidators, buying clubs, and factory outlet stores
usually offer larger quantity packaging for somewhat lower
prices. Bulk buying with other family members or friends
9) Giving a gift on New Year's Day can also be very
special. You can really take advantage of all those after
Christmas sales and give someone a gift to begin the new
10) Make more of your gifts at home. A freshly baked loaf
of bread, cookies, and desserts are always appreciated.
Also arts, crafts, needle-work, or create a collage of
photographs of the family, which will make a wonderful
gift that will be cherished too.
The holidays are much more enjoyable when the expenses
don't exceed what has been planned for and there has been
no credit-based gifting. There are others who do go into
debt for gifts who report it often takes them the entire
following year to pay it all off, ultimately resulting in
more costly gifts because of interest and carrying
charges. Holidays are happiest and also perhaps less
costly when they are on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The ICFE's Web site at ICFE.info has many more helpful
spending tips and worksheets for setting up a one-page
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.