With the cost of food, rent and interest rates rising, shopping for holiday gifts and décor may seem like a daunting task.
However, there are some ways you can save money and avoid overspending, including creating and sticking to a budget.
Financial advisor Candice Bakx-Friesen recommends putting together a plan and knowing how much money you have to spend on the holidays.
She also suggests putting the budgeted money aside, if possible. That way you can avoid getting into credit card debt.
“People hate the word ‘budget,’ but just think of it as a map. A place where you’re starting and to know where you’re going,” she said in an interview with CTV Morning Live on Monday.
Bakx-Friesen also said it’s best to create a plan for the gifts you’d like to buy to avoid emotional decisions. This includes making a list and allocating a dollar amount you’d like to spend.
“Either we want to avoid disappointment or impress people or make people happy,” she said.
“So when you have a plan in place you’re less likely to make those emotional decisions.”
When it comes to credit cards, Bakx-Friesen said they are necessary in certain situations, including online shopping. However, she suggests to try to use cash as much as possible.
“When you dish out cash, you can really feel it, as opposed to just tap, tap, tap or online spending,” she said.
As for online shopping, Bakx-Friesen said it’s often easier to make quick decisions when shopping in person because there are so many options online. However, for those who do prefer online shopping, she recommends looking out for any online coupons or sales.
She also suggests using up any points or gift cards you may have as a way to purchase gifts.
“A lot of people have points that are just sitting there that they’re not using, whether that’s Shoppers Drug Mart or credit card points,” Bakx-Friesen said.
“Cashing in points, you could have a lot of cash there or different options that you can buy using your points.”
– With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagace.