Fair   66.0F  |  Forecast »

Setting and Sticking to a Shopping Budget

10 tips for creating a money saving plan and sticking to it in these tough times

1. Include everything when budgeting. One of the easiest ways to bust your budget is to fail to acknowledge the soft costs of shopping like parking, lunch at the mall, babysitting, giftwrapping, etc. Receipts and records from last year can be a great place to start. Remember, it’s better to overestimate than underestimate.

2. Involve your entire family in the budgeting process. If you expect everyone in your family to adhere to the budget, they need to have input in setting it.

3. Write it down. It’s not really a budget until it’s on paper. Having it on paper provides a way to measure your success and keeps you on task. Post it in a place for everyone in your family to see and chart your progress.

4. Consolidate your cards if making purchases on credit. Spreading purchases across multiple cards makes it more difficult to track expenses and maintain your budget. When using credit, think of it as a short-term loan and select the card with the lowest interest or the one that provides reward points or frequent-flier miles.

5. Consider giving a “bake it, make it, sew it” gift. Not only will you save money, the recipient is likely to appreciate a gift you make more than one you purchase.

6. Don’t shop for sales, shop for prices. It’s easy to find sales, but bargains might be harder to come by. Visit resources on the Web that allow you to compare prices and research product price history.

7. Consider the gift of giving to others. In these tough times, making a contribution to a worthy nonprofit organization in the name of a loved one can be a wonderful gift. You’ll be helping others in your community and you may benefit from a tax deduction.

8. Find the best deal when shipping gifts. The price to ship gifts across the country can vary greatly depending not only on the weight of the package you’re sending, but the carrier and the type of service you select. Prepare your boxes for mailing at home to save on packing supplies.

9. Ask about sales adjustments and monitor prices after you purchase. Ever purchase an item only to see it go on sale the following week? Many retailers allow you to get a credit or refund for the discounted amount. Savvy shoppers use price comparison Web sites to receive alerts when prices drop.

10. Save your receipts. Examine your receipts carefully before you leave the store to be sure all the appropriate discounts were applied. It’s also a good idea to compare your receipts with your credit card statement to ensure there are no price discrepancies.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Head to the park or on a hike and make the great outdoors your dinner spot. Here are six ideas to help you plan your meal – from drink to dessert.

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Want a few simple, fun sewing ideas for the kids, projects to brighten up their rooms or maybe just tips for DIY tinkering? These authors have you covered.

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

A father from Virginia claims a patch of desert in Egypt, calls it the Kingdom of North Sudan – just so his daughter can be the princess of this region.

Spray-on Sunscreen Warnings for Kids: FDA Investigates Safety

Spray-on Sunscreen Warnings for Kids: FDA Investigates Safety

Parents might want to think twice before using this alternative to lotion sunscreen as the Food and Drug Administration investigates its potential risks.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement