Thrifty Thursday: Holiday Shopping Survival Guide - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Thrifty Thursday: Holiday Shopping Survival Guide

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Whether you love it or hate it, Black Friday is fast approaching! The day after Thanksgiving has become an important part of the holiday shopping season, with more than half of Americans (55%) expected to buy something that day! (according to consulting firm Accenture PLC.)

Joining Lisanne on Good Morning Texoma is Scott Maxwell with Talis Advisors with a Holiday Shopping Survival Guide and good tips for the entire holiday shopping season.

Q: You say don't procrastinate- it's better to get your shopping started early. Why is that?

Stores are eager to get customers through the door this year. More than three-quarters (79.5%) of Americans say they're planning to spend less this holiday season because they're concerned about the economy (according to the National Retail Federation.) All of that competition should mean good deals for shoppers. I'm encouraging my clients to shop early to take advantage of early sales, and also spread out the cost of the holidays.

Q: Why are the sales starting so early?

Retailers are facing a short traditional shopping season this year. Hanukkah falls very early - on Thanksgiving. And there are six fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, there will always be last-minute sales for the procrastinators, but there are good deals starting early.

Q: We all know we should wear comfy shoes, but what else should we consider before heading out shopping?

I've got 5 practical tips that I are part of my Holiday Shopping Survival Guide.

1.  Set a Spending Limit

Before you hit your first store website- make a list of who you're buying for and how much you plan to spend. I stress to my clients the importance of budgeting year-round, and holiday shopping is no exception. Keep that checklist with you as you shop to help avoid impulse buys. I have a great holiday budget worksheet to help you plan on my website, www.talisadvisors.com

 

2. Go for the Gift Card

You probably have people like teachers, babysitters, newspaper carriers, doorman on your list of who to buy for. You can save yourself a lot of guesswork by getting gift cards. Plus, it's a great way to stick to a budget. But only buy gift cards from reputable retailers. Cards sold through online auction sites might be stolen or counterfeit.

3. Be Scrooge

Be Scrooge when it comes to shopping for yourself. It is so easy to impulse buy when you see something you like on sale, but this is one of the biggest budget-busters! The National Retail Federation says self-gifters will spend about $130 this year! Stick to your spending limit and try to steer clear of temptation.

4. Avoid hidden Fees

The average person plans to do 40% of their shopping online (according to the NRF). When you're using the Internet, you need to be especially careful, or you could end up paying for something you don't want. These types of hidden fees can really add up, so make sure you read the fine print before agreeing to buy anything.

5. Win Loyalty Points

This will be an extremely promotional holiday season, and many stores will offer special deals to loyal customers. Consider signing up for emails from your favorite stores, and also keep an eye on their websites, twitter feeds and facebook pages. And don't forget the traditional method of scoring coupons- the newspaper.

About Scott: As a Certified Financial Planner, Scott Maxwell has been helping individuals, families and business owners throughout Texas and Oklahoma for nearly a decade. He has been recognized with the prestigious Five Star Wealth Manager award from Texas Monthly Magazine four times. Scott is the VP of Wealth and Income Planning at Talis Advisors.