With doorbusters and pre-Black Friday sales happening before we’ve even decided on Halloween costumes, it’s easy to get sucked into the lure of holiday shopping deals long before December arrives. Despite inflation and the rising cost of living, the average shopper expects to spend $1,455 (14-hundred 55 dollars) this season, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday survey.
As a result of all that shopping, millions of Americans go into debt - or further into debt - because of impulsive, holiday-related purchases, according to Jesse Mecham, founder of the personal budgeting app YNAB. And while snagging Black Friday deals seems like a great deal in November, may come to regret those purchases when January rolls around. Both Mecham and John Schmoll, founder of Frugal Rules, say the best way to avoid large impulse buys is to shop with a budget.
These budgeting experts say unless you’ve budgeted for them, avoid buying the following items, as they’re the holiday purchases people tend to regret most.
- Holiday decor - You can still deck the halls and spread holiday cheer without going out and buying giant lawn inflatables or covering your house with lights that will send your electricity bill soaring. If you need new decorations, wait until after the holidays when they’re steeply discounted.
- Bulky exercise equipment - You may be tempted to get in on a deal for expensive workout equipment to help you reach your upcoming New Year’s resolutions, but the budgeting experts warn not to. These items are frequently used two or three times, then just sit collecting dust and taking up space.
- Expensive gift wrap - Americans spend around $2.6-billion a year on gift wrap, which is a lot for something that immediately gets thrown out.
- An enormous turkey - Sure, they look nice on the platter, but with inflation and avian flu driving turkey prices up, this may be the year to buck tradition and serve a couple of chickens or a ham instead.
- Consumer electronics - It’s tempting to buy those shiny new laptops, iPads and iPhones around the holidays, but if you can resist, you’ll find much better deals on previous models when the new ones are released, usually soon after the holidays.