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Impulse buying increases during the holidays. As we shop for others, it is easy to get carried away and make purchases for ourselves or others. When we see something a friend or loved one will like, it is easy to justify spending more than planned. Often we find ourselves buying something for ourselves along with gifts for others. So, how do we curb impulse buying during the holidays?

The first thing we can do is emulate Santa Claus. We can make a list and check it twice, then stick to the list when we shop. A list is a good idea for many reasons. A list reminds us not to forget anyone and prompts us to stay on task and budget.

Pay with cash or a prepaid credit card. Save the money you need for gifts and use cash to make the purchases. When you are out of money, your shopping is complete. This strategy forces us to consider each item and the amount we can afford. Pair purchasing with cash alongside making a list, and impulse buys are all but impossible.

Shop with a friend. Let them know you need to stay on budget. A friend can remind you when you consider an impulse purchase. Besides, shopping with a friend is almost always more enjoyable than shopping alone. If you are easily swayed by others you may be better off shopping alone.

Impulse buying increases for some people if they shop online. Online shoppers tend to spend approximately 22% more than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. If you have a tendency to overspend, avoid online shopping. Local store owners always appreciate it when you shop local.

Spend a few moments considering your purchases. Walk around the store, step away from the computer, then determine if each item is necessary. A reasoned approach to shopping can reduce impulse buys.

If you have a serious problem with overspending, there are more restrictive measures you can take. Contact your bank and reduce your card limits before shopping. Place credit cards in a glass of water and place them in the freezer, do not thaw until after the holidays. A credit counselor may be necessary for extreme cases.

One of the best ways to enjoy the holidays is to avoid overspending. It is difficult to enjoy the season of giving if all you did was go into debt. Follow these tips and enjoy the true reason for the season.

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