Finished Your Holiday Shopping in November? Here's One Important Move to Make in December

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  • Some people wait until the last minute to make holiday purchases.
  • If your holiday shopping is already wrapped, there's one essential thing you should do to protect your finances.
  • Avoid temptation by avoiding the stores this month.

It could save you a lot of money.

There are different approaches people tend to take to holiday shopping. Some consumers specifically save their shopping for December, either because they're convinced that's when there are better deals available or due to procrastination.

But others like to get all of their shopping done in November. That way, they can stress less in December.

Plus, there are benefits to shopping in November. That's when major sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday take place, so there may be more discounts to be had.

If you're in the camp of being done with your holiday shopping in November, you may be relieved that you've crossed off one very time-consuming task. But in that case, there's one essential move you must make for the month of December to protect yourself financially.

Stay out of stores

December is when retailers tend to offer up numerous sales in an effort to drum up year-end business. Now you may not find the same deep discounts in December as you might've seen during shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But the deals might be there nonetheless -- and you may find them tempting.

That's why it pays to stay out of stores in December if you're done with your holiday shopping. That way, you can avoid impulse purchases that lead to a higher credit card balance. Plus, you can avoid the feelings of guilt that may come with going over your budget.

Of course, this isn't to say that you should stay away from all stores. First of all, you have to eat, which means supermarket runs are perfectly acceptable. And if you do a lot of your grocery shopping at stores like Target or Costco, you can't exactly stay away for an entire month.

But in that case, do your best to be disciplined. Write out a Target or Costco shopping list before hitting the store, and try to stay out of non-food aisles so you're not tempted to buy extra things. You might even go as far as to leave your credit cards at home when you shop, estimate the cost of the essentials you're buying, and bring only enough cash to cover them (or perhaps enough cash plus an extra $10 bill, just in case some of your items cost more than anticipated).

Be careful online, too

It's not just brick and mortar stores you should try to stay out of in December if you're done shopping for the holidays. You'll want to be careful with online merchants as well. A great way to avoid spending extra money online is to not let yourself browse different websites out of boredom. Instead, have other activities ready to occupy your downtime.

Avoid temptation

December is a very tricky month to shop because you're apt to see deals all over the place. And so if you're starting off the month having finished your holiday shopping, do yourself a favor and stay away from non-essential stores. Doing so could mean avoiding debt and starting off 2023 in a much better place financially.

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