5 Ways to Waste Money This Holiday Season

by Jon Dulin · 6 comments

The following post is by MSG staff writer, Shondell of Call Me What You Want, Even Cheap. She blogs about her recent car loan and mortgage pay off of over $95k and a whole bunch more. Check out her blog right here.

The holiday season is here again and the time has come to fly off to your favorite destination, do the things you have always dreamt of doing, see the places that you have dreamt of seeing, eat the foods that you have wanted to taste, meet interesting people you have never met before and maybe fall in love if you are still single. But most of all, it is the time of the year when you will splurge money on everything from food and clothes to gifts and electronics.

Whether you are going away on a holiday or staying at home this Christmas, ¬†chances are money will be wasted on things you don’t need. Here are the top 5 ways to waste money this holiday season.

Not Having a Budget

Holiday season is a time to spend money and you should be prepared for that. The best way to be prepared is to create a budget for holiday shopping. Without a good budget, it is easy to waste money on unimportant things and leave out the important things When making a budget, first determine how much money you want to spend on gifts, then make a list of everything you want to buy for your friends and family.

Shopping With Your Credit Card

The easiest way to waste money during the holidays is to shop with credit cards. More than anything else, it is a psychological thing. When you are not paying with cash, it’s easy to spend endless amounts of money. Leaving your credit cards at home when shopping this holiday season may not be a bad idea.

Buying on Impulse

When you are in that holiday mood, it’s so easy to buy things on impulse. Everything is so nicely decorated that it gets you into the spirit. But buying on impulse is one of the easiest ways to waste money as it often results in the purchase of useless things at unjustifiable prices. The most effective way to control impulse buying is to make a list of things to buy before going shopping. ¬†A shopping list forces you to stick to the things that you will need. Comparing prices can also help to avoid impulse purchases. Seeing something at one price and then checking it out at another store to see if they have the same item, will give you time to see if it’s something you really want and it gives you a chance to compare the prices.

Tipping Too Much

During holidays, it is easy to get carried away and give tips to every waiter, security guard, concierge, hairstylist and janitor who comes across as friendly. By the time you realize how much money you have thrown away, the damage will have already have been done. To avoid over-tipping, make a mental list of deserving candidates and do not carry more cash on you than is absolutely necessary. When tipping, tip only the most deserving candidates and only in justifiable amounts. In restaurants in many countries, a certain percentage (usually 10%) service charge is already added in the bill and you do not need to tip the waiters.

Giving Your Kids Whatever They Want

The holiday season is a great time to give and receive gifts. Children naturally expect gifts from their parents and Santa Clause. Of course failure to do so will likely result in your children being sulky and unhappy, which can spoil the entire holiday mood. But you should not go overboard with it. Kids usually want expensive gifts that they will soon get tired of and throw away. If they are insistent, you can give them a cheaper alternative that won’t be a waste of money even if they discard it as soon as the holidays are over.

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Moneysma: I think Shondell is right on line with ways to waste money during the holidays. And don’t get me started on tipping! Be sure to read more on how to control your spending and two ways to save money this holiday season.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle December 18, 2012 at 8:54 am

Not only is having a budget important, but tracking it is just as important. If you set $100 for five different people and go shopping all at once, you’ll lose sight quickly of how you are doing if you don’t track every purchase. Plus, not every purchase for everybody will total your exact amount. Sometimes it’ll be less, sometimes more. If you don’t track everything, you could quickly get surprised, especially if you ‘forget’ that you bought something, which can quickly blow your budget.
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John S @ Frugal Rules December 18, 2012 at 11:20 am

Having a budget is vital as well as tracking what is spent. Without either you can end up spending too much and going overboard.
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Lisa @ Cents To Save December 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

I am guilty of tipping to much at Holidays. :)

We are paying cash for Christmas this year so that is a big improvement over past years!
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Canadianbudgetbinder December 18, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Although we have a Christmas budget it is SO HARD to turn your head whiles shopping as there is a deal everywhere you look. Is it truly a deal, well that’s up to the buyer to find out but how many people don’t and buy on impulse, many! That’s why retailers dive in so fast before Halloween is done to get Christmas stuff up in the shops. To stop us from impulse buying sometimes we only bring cash with us so we don’t whip out the credit card but for the most part we are ok. Just keep saying, you don’t need it! Mr.CBB
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Jeremy @ Structrued Settlement Quotes December 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I’d have to disagree about the tip about not using credit cards. At this time of year I’d much rather have the extra consumer protection by putting gifts on my credit card. Plus you get rewards on all those purchases. With me if I have cash in my wallet I’m much more likely to blow that on impulse items. I definitely agree with the other tips though.

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Peter Lee December 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

Preparing budget and proper planning is most important thing to do while traveling. If you go without a proper plan, than you have to be ready ti expect the unexpected which might can become the reason for a stressful travel.

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