Keep It Simple, Silly! Familiar — and sound — advice, especially as you prepare for your holiday shopping. We often try to outsmart the system, doing things such as signing up for endless discount emails, “points” programs, and frequent-buying plans. While we think we’re getting a good deal, we’re actually setting ourselves up to spend more than we intended so we can take advantage of the offer.
Here are some tips for keeping the spending simple this holiday season:
Skip those deal-of-the-day discount emails. You might find some bargains, but more often than not those types of offers only tempt you to buy stuff you don’t need.
Have just two credit cards. It’s easy to sign up for appealing new cards (miles! discounts!), but you really don’t need any more than two. If you’re shopping for a new card, do so purposefully and start by looking at important features such as interest rate and balance transfer restrictions.
Resist store cards. Even if the discounts are tempting, department store credit cards often carry high interest rates. According to Consumer Reports, the average interest rate of a standard credit card is 17%, while store cards have an average interest rate of 25%.
Make a list and stick with it. Figure out exactly what you need before you leave the house, and don’t stray from that list. If you find an item that’s not on your list but you think you can’t pass it up because of the deal, consider that half-off a $20 item you don’t need is still $10 gone from your wallet.