Story Idea: Avoid Holiday Shopping Hangovers

If your audience has a tendency to overspend for holidays, better planning can keep costs under control, according to a report by smartaboutmoney.org. They may benefit from several of the tips outlined in the report, which would work well in a reporter package or web story:
 
Set a budget: Write a list of all the people you want to buy for and set a dollar amount for each person.
 
Shop throughout the year to take advantage of sales and coupons: Keep track of where you store these gifts so you can easily find them when you need them.
 
Resist the urge to buy more: Add to gifts you’ve already planned for and purchased because it feels like there are not enough is not a good shopping strategy. 
 
Pay with cash: Leave the credit cards at home and only spend as much cash as you’ve allotted in your budget. 
 
Consider alternatives: There may be a less expensive gift you can give, such as:
 
Making something special for the recipient.
 
Instead of giving gifts to friends, arrange a potluck dinner or dessert gathering. You’ll be surprised by how many people will appreciate the money savings and the time together.
 
Secret Santa: Ask the adult relatives in your family to participate. Each person chooses a name out of a hat and buys a gift only for that person.
 
When changing your holiday spending traditions, start the conversation early with your family and friends so they can support your new, cost-saving plan.

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