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Shopping On A Budget

Apartment Living
[dropcap] H [/dropcap]o, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!!!  If you haven't yet read our to-do list around Las Vegas, see it right here. If only we could keep the same enthusiasm for the holidays during the aftermath of the Christmas season; the January credit card bill statement.  Each year, consumers open their hearts and their pockets in anticipation of purchasing the perfect objects of affection for a loved one, the perfect gift.  We spend money we wouldn’t otherwise spend and we do so happily.  There is an air of giving that has little qualm over the consequences of spending absurd amounts of money and accumulating substantial amounts of debt.  The good thing is there are ways we can joyfully prepare for the holiday season while being mindful of the amount of money spent.
Make A Plan
The most beneficial tool you will ever find to help you stay on budget during the holiday season is a plan.  A plan will help you eliminate the odds of buying that which you do not need and increase your chances of finding deals and sales for the items which you seek; plain and simple.  Whether you cultivate a formidable war battle plan or map out the most efficient playbook tactic, having a plan ensures that you accomplish what you set out to accomplish in the most resourceful ways possible.
Drop Materialism And Adopt Humility
On a less materialistic note, true holiday spirit is in the thought one puts into a gift.  The gift itself doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to be of value to the receiver.  This year, search for gift ideas that come from the heart.  Additional effort in the planning stage may create a tear-jerking gift response and save you a little money in the long run.
Take Advantage Of Sales And Coupons
In line with having a plan, starting your Christmas shopping early will allow you to keep your eye out for the sales and specials that will help you stick to your budget.  Shopping at the last minute equates to walking into a store with a basic idea in mind and walking out with more than you bargained for, having spent double and triple what you anticipated.  During this time of year, department and other stores host numerous sales, specials and events as well as offers coupons to new customers, loyal customers and those in-between.  Taking advantage of these offers can shave a few bucks off of your overall budget leaving room for additional gifts or even a little something for yourself.
Stick To Your Preliminary Goal
One of the most important aspects to creating a holiday shopping plan is actually sticking to it.  Some may find it much easier to make a plan than it is to actually follow it.  A tip to avoid spending temptation is to try online shopping.  Online shopping offers a stress free environment where you can take the time to assess your shopping cart with a diligent eye.  There is no pressure from a busy store checkout line to hurry up and buy!  If you want to take something out of the cart at the last minute and replace it with another item, it is up to your discretion.  The downfall to online shopping is the ability to see touch and feel an item before purchase.  General complaints include items that do not fit well or are not identical in color or appearance as it is online.  A way to overcome this pitfall is to online shop from stores you know well.
Pray For Willpower
In conclusion, the ability to shop on a budget begins with the conscious decision to be more mindful of your spending this holiday season.  Make a plan, stay humble, look for coupons and stick to your plan.  And if all else fails, pray for the willpower to resist that which you just don’t need!!!