It’s easy to overspend around Christmas. You’re in spending mode anyway, all the advertising gets to you, and you think, “Eh, what’s a couple of bucks? It’s Christmas!” One simple way to avoid this? Make fewer shopping trips.
Photo by William Murphy.
If you’re anything like me, when you’re shopping for gifts, you have a tendency to pick up “just one or two small things” when you’re at each store. It’s usually a small extra gift, a stocking stuffer, or, OK, a little treat for myself. Business Insider adds that, often, if we don’t find what we’re looking for at a store, we feel obligated to buy something anyway, because we’ve already invested the time into shopping.
That’s the sunk cost fallacy, and it can be dangerous. Here’s what they suggest, citing Trent Hamm, author of 365 Ways to Live Cheap:
Before heading out to holiday shop, make a list detailing exactly what you intend to buy and what stores have those products — and then stick to your list. If you have a hard time limiting your time spent shopping, set a timer when you walk in the door, Hamm suggests: “Set a time goal when you need to check out and leave the store. This will reduce the opportunities you have to be distracted by impulsive buys and keep you focused on the items you’re intending to purchase.”
They offer a number of additional tips for saving, so check out their full article below.