financialstress bannerFinancial stress is one of the number one reasons a relationship struggles. During this holiday season, we wanted to offer you some tips to help you avoid overspending.

10 Tips to Avoid Overspending This Holiday Season

Set a Budget

Set a budget and stick to it! Avoid overspending this holiday season. By setting a budget and using the tips to follow, you can maximize what you do plan to spend to get the most bang for your buck.

Make a List

Make an itemized list that details who you're getting gifts for and what you are buying for them. Stick to your budget, this will make it easier for you to not overspend.

Shop Online

Shoppers now know that they can visit multiple online stores to compare products and prices simultaneously. By shopping online, you are now allowed the freedom to take advantage of the best deals on the web. Shopping online also allows for you to have packages sent or delivered wherever they like. Instead of fighting the parking lot battle this holiday season, take advantage of online stores and deals that are available to you.

Always Check Coupon Sites

The majority of online stores offer online coupons. If you cannot locate the coupon on the company's site, try checking online for the best coupons, promo codes, deals and offers that are available. Many times these sites have worked out exclusive deals with merchants to bring the consumer the best savings on the internet. You can simply google, “promo codes for JC Penny, Walmart, Forever 21, etc.” You can also download Wiki buy will pop up at every shopping cart and they do the work for you by searching the entire web for all coupon codes and will price match for you.

Earn points while you shop

Use a rewards program that gives you points for reading e-mails, shopping, taking surveys, doing web searches and completing a variety of other activities. Once you accrue enough points, you can redeem them for a gift card to your choice of over 75 merchants. Top 5 recommended rewards programs are: Swagbucks, Mypoints (we’ve used this one for years), Earning station, Inbox dollars or Cash crate. We use all year. By the end of the year, we typically earn approximately $200 in gift cards.

Always Use the Right Credit Card

Many stores offer their own store credit cards with special incentives. Nordstrom has a great store card that allows for an allotment of free tailor services and exclusive VIP events and experiences. Using the store credit cards or cards with exceptional cash back policies allow you to gain valuable loyalty points or cash. Use your store's loyalty points to leverage additional discounts and promotions both in-store and online.

Look for Discounted Gift Cards

Discounted gift cards are one of the best little-known ways of saving money when shopping. Whether you're purchasing food, gifts or decorations, you can pick up discounted gift cards at stores like Costco, Best Buy and Office Depot or at online sites like or If you're planning to spend $200 on Christmas decorations at Pier 1 Imports, for example, you could save up to 19 percent by buying a discounted gift card first and then making your purchase. Of course, using discounted gift cards adds an extra step in your shopping trip, but doing so can score you some real cash savings.

Be Aware of Price-Matching Policies

Whether shopping online or in-store, the amount of stores that offer competitive price matching policies is astounding. Oftentimes these policies are unknown to consumers. In order to keep with up with the e-commerce giant Amazon, stores like Target, Walmart and Best Buy have all begun matching the online retailer's prices on their sites and in-store. If you see a cheaper price somewhere else, ask about price matching with a manager or cashier.

Limit self-gifting

One of the most significant holiday trends over recent years is the increase in “self-gifting”—people treating themselves to presents when they are out shopping for others. Nearly 60% of people are now self-gifting according to the National Retail Federation. To avoid overspending this holiday season, limit yourself in this regard.

Cut down on convenience costs

Some of the most hidden costs of the holiday season are “convenience” expenses. The holiday season throws us out of our usual family rhythms by adding extra responsibilities and activities. As a result, the price we are willing to pay for convenience begins to rise—sometimes, it is just easier to order fast food when running late for an appointment or getting a pizza for the kids if we need to attend the office holiday party.

In addition, all the time spent shopping often leads to other unnecessary purchases: expensive coffee drinks, pretzels, smoothies, just to name a few. These expenses appear minor. But over the course of a month, because of the “Latte Factor,” they add up quickly.