Holiday Spending: Don’t Let it Wipe You Out

The holiday season means entertaining guests, big meals, decorating and of course, gift buying. Stores definitely play their part offering deals and discounts to attract everyone to their stores, all to get you to spend money you don’t intend to spend.

Just in time for Black Friday, here are a few tips so you can save more money than you spend this holiday season.

Here’s how you can stay on track:

Leave the plastic at home. Resist the urge to use your credit card for purchases. It is more difficult to keep track of what you spend and that line of credit will only intensify your urge to buy. The worst part: the interest you will be paying on that purchase long after that present is unwrapped, used and pushed to the back of the closet.

Budget. Many online websites offer tools such as spending worksheets and a calculator to estimate what you can afford to spend based on your income. Once you have determined that number, stick to it. Create a list of each person you need a gift for and include an amount to spend for them. Stick to it and mark through each person as you finish shopping for them.

Shop around. Sales will be everywhere, so shopping around for the best deal on an item makes sense and can save a lot of money. Compare prices online and don’t forget to shop the clearance and discount racks.

Use coupons and discounts. Major retailers offer sales books with coupons and special shopping hours and days with extra discounts and more. Often, company websites offer coupons and higher sales discounts for shopping online. Target these websites and stores for most of your shopping needs.

Travel Smart. Travel to Grandma’s house during the holidays can be a major budget buster. Try to plan as far in advance as possible for travel needs during the holidays. Shop travel websites like or and be as flexible as possible on travel days and times. These sites can save hundreds on your total travel package.

Stick to these tips and you will be able to focus more on the spirit of the holiday instead of the cost of it.

Black Enterprise contributor Jennifer Streaks is a Financial Expert, Author and pundit. Continue the conversation by following her on twitter @jstreaks or on her website at