Impulse control and holiday shopping

Overspending during the holidays is hard for everyone – the average American family is carrying almost $10K in debt.  Impulse shopping is a major reason for credit card debt and is a common problem for people with ADHD.

During the holidays it’s especially hard to keep impulse shopping urges under control.  Here are five steps to keep your spending from taking over during the holiday rush and giving you a debt hangover in January!

  1.  Make a budget:  Decide how much you have to spend now – before you start shopping.
  2. Make a list:  Write down the names of the people you want to buy for and what you want to get them.
  3. Prioritize:  Add up how much the items on your list cost.  If your list costs more than you have, brainstorm less expensive gifts to give so you keep within your budget.
  4. Keep it in cash:  Take only the cash you plan to spend when you go shopping.  That means leaving your debit and credit cards at home.  Put your holiday cash in separate compartment in your wallet.  When the money is gone, you are done shopping.  Period.  Don’t be tempted to use layaway plans to buy things you can’t afford.
  5. Avoid the mall:  If you stay away from where things are being sold, you won’t be as tempted to buy them!

Do you have other tricks you use to curb your shopping urges?  Please share them here.  Consider it your gift to helping someone else end the holiday season without a debt hangover.bounced check

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