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The 12 financial blunders of Christmas

Holiday spending blunders are likely to be heightened – what with product shortages, shipping delays and mounting consumer prices amplifying the shopping wars.  
Holiday shopping tips to keep the stress level--and credit card bills--as low as possible! Photo: Metro Creative Connection

With inflation near record high and Canada experiencing the fastest increase in cost of living since 2003, here is some seasonal relief for Canadians to fight the urges and temptations to overspend.

"You don’t have to be Scrooge or wear your resting Grinch face to enjoy the upcoming month of holidays,” said Laurie Campbell, director of client financial wellness at Bromwich+Smith. “Ultimately avoiding holiday blunders requires planning, a bit of research, and quality over quantity.”

 The 12 financial blunders of Christmas by Bromwich+Smith:

  1. Overbuying – It’s a relief to be done with the holiday shopping early, but once you are done stay done. Try to avoid being tempted to get yet another holiday gift for Aunt Millie or your pet.
  2. Not comparison shopping – Let’s face it, high end stores have high end prices.  Look around, shop outlets for the same gift or wait for a great sale on what you are looking for.  
  3. Keeping up with Joneses – Friends and relatives may be able to buy lavish presents for everyone, but this doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.
  4. Not being creative with your gift decisions – The value of a thoughtful gift is immeasurable. Who doesn’t like homemade cookies?!
  5. Not making a list and not checking it twice – We have all done this, we go to the store, get everything we think we need (it’s in our head somewhere) and walk away only to have to make another trip to the store.
  6. Not knowing what you’re spending – Keep track of credit card purchases to avoid the heart attack when you look at your credit statement.
  7. Shopping when you are hungry, hangry or tired – Hello?  Food court here I come.  Let’s face it, if you are hungry, you're not thinking straight, and impulse buying happens.
  8. Shopping in uncomfortable clothing – Going to the mall in high heels?  Guess what, halfway through your excursion, you will purchase the most comfortable pair of shoes.
  9. Late night online shopping – Don’t have buyer’s remorse in the morning.  Research shows that our decision process weakens as the day wears on.
  10. Don’t send someone else out to do your gift deeds –If you're sending your husband out to buy your mom’s gift, his impatience may be costly.
  11. Not remembering the total cost of the holidays – Make sure your budget includes all the costs of the season including decorations, extra party food, lights etc.
  12. Not getting a few extra (inexpensive) gifts – for those unexpected people.