Every year the Christmas holidays could be considered as the most expensive shopping season. That is because consumers usually spend so much during this period as giving gifts has been synonymous to the spirit of the season all across the globe. Of course, buying presents come with specific price tags.

Are you ready to once again spend a fortune this Christmas? You do not have to, if you would be more frugal to manage your money this holiday season. Do not spend way beyond your budget set for Christmas shopping. Otherwise, you may end up accumulating more debt that you would take care to repay months after the season. Here are five ideas on how to manage your money this Christmas holiday season so you would not end up being in debt.

1. Do early holiday shopping.

It is a common knowledge that prices of commodities usually increase during the busy Christmas holiday shopping. This could be explained by the law of supply and demand. During the period, demand increases, leading to higher price tags. Many consumers have already developed the annual habit of making Christmas shopping earlier. Some start shopping by September, while others begin as early as January.

2. Check out last-minute price adjustments.

Even if you have already finished your Christmas shopping earlier, you could still check out Christmas Eve promos or markdown sales. Numerous retailers still offer one-time and drastic price markdowns within a limited period during the holiday shopping season. However, do not expect to find the best deals or the specific items you are looking for through such promos.

3. Do not shop for yourself.

If you have to buy gifts for your loved ones and friends, prioritise them over yourself. Do not get into the so-called ‘one for you and one for me’ shopping policy. Do not buy one for yourself each time you buy an item in your holiday shopping list. If you continue doing so, it would be a sure way to overspend. Think about it: the items you may like for yourself would certainly still be available after Christmas, at much lower price tags. Have the patience to wait so you could save so much.

4. It is time to use gift cards.

You surely have received gift checks or cards from the previous years as Christmas presents. Do not forget about those. In the past years, many gift cards had been unused and had been invalidated due to expiration. Today, such cards do not expire. You may still be able to spend the old gift cards you received from the previous years. You would be surprised at how much those cards could possibly be worth when accumulated.

5. Try not to be competitive.

Do not give in to the pressure of matching gifts you receive dollar for dollar. If you have received an expensive gift from a friend, do not think that you are obliged to give an equally expensive gift to that person. Everyone now understands that some people have tighter budget. Instead of trying to match price tags of gifts, why not put extra thought or personalise your gifts to show off how much you really care?