Common holiday shopping spending traps and how to avoid them


SEATTLE — The holiday shopping season is here.

Whether you have a full gift list in hand or you have a rough idea of what you want to buy – plenty of brands are sending out mailers and emails with gift ideas as Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approach.

Northwestern Mutual financial advisor Kian Ahern stopped by the KING 5 studios to share some tips.

While the saying “make a list and check it twice” may be synonymous with the holidays, Ahern said it’s a good idea when trying to save money and avoid falling for spending traps.

One of the most common ways to fall for a spending trap, according to Ahern, is to buy something “just because it’s on sale,” and advertise it as a savings to customers.

Even if you’re paying a sale price – Ahern said it’s important to remember you are still paying 100 percent of that sale price, which may or may not be in your budget. If you’re using a credit card for that “deal” – Ahern said this could cost you more if you begin to accrue interest on that purchase.

You can trim some costs by considering a handmade gift or gifting a beloved photo in a frame, according to Ahern.

Like any other part of the year when you are budgeting for monthly bills and expenses – Ahern said it’s important to set a holiday spending budget and stick to it. Make a list of desired gifts and look for the best prices for each item.

You can also avoid higher shipping costs by ordering online items early ad avoiding rushed or overnight delivery costs.

To hear all of Ahern’s holiday spending advice – click the video player above.

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