• Thursday, February 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Start your planning for end-of-year shopping

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In the Western world, every dollar or currency you spend is accounted for. But in Africa, specifically in Nigeria, a lot of people spend without ‘pity’ for the purchasing power.

Just like common money mistakes can add up quickly and cause a lot hazard to your personal finance, holiday or Christmas shopping mistakes are not exceptional.

Don’t be surprised to see a lot of people waiting till December before they can go for Christmas shopping and at the end of the day, they spend more than they could have saved today.

Experts say this period is good for you to do your Christmas shopping because prices of certain items are lower now and the shopping mall or open markets are free from rushing.

“It can be tempting to go a crazy the first Christmas after you get your first real job. You are making a real salary, and you feel that you want to say thanks to those who have helped you while you struggled through college and internships. Christmas savings strategies can help you save money, while still saying thanks, but avoid the most common holiday shopping mistakes,” Miriam Caldwell, personal finance specialists has said.

She said before you buy a single Christmas present you should determine how much you have to spend on the holiday season. Many people forget to add Christmas cards, office parties, white elephant gifts, and travel expenses. If you are planning a party you should add this into your list as well.

You should make a list of what you want to buy for and the amount you plan to spend on the gifts. As you spend the money subtract it from your total, this will help you stick to your holiday budget. When you have used up all of your holiday money, then you need to stop spending.

According to her, it is tempting when you finally have some money to go out and buy extravagant gifts for everyone on your list. You may want to buy an extra nice gift for your parents or a close friend, but try not to go overboard on everyone’s gift. Most people would prefer a well thought-out gift that matches their personality and interests to something you bought simply for how much it cost you. You should be able to see when you are crossing that line.

Many people’s biggest holiday financial mistake is to forget to spread the cost of Christmas over the entire year. You should set aside money each month to cover the cost of next Christmas. You can put the money into a Christmas savings account or simply earmark the money in your normal savings account. This allows you to purchase your Christmas gifts without all of the worry.

The worst gifts and worst prices are a result of waiting until the last minute to do your shopping. You can begin your holiday shopping the day after Christmas, as you search for the perfect present. There is nothing worse than the feeling of dread as you try to find a decent present for your family and friends in nearly empty aisles of a store. Avoid this holiday shopping mistake by beginning to find and purchase your gifts now, Caldwell said.

HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE