With holiday shopping in full swing, here are some last minute holiday shopping tips from Consumer Economics Educator Sasha Grabenstetter to keep your spending plan in check!

USE YOUR CASH

Use cash instead of credit to make purchases -- research shows us that we spend up to 30 percent more when we use a credit card over cash. That means, that an $80 item can easily become $104, a $24 dollar difference. Have you ever seen someone rip up money? Have you? Cause I have, and it's a gut retching feeling. Cash is physically hard to give away and "that gut retching feeling" may have you thinking twice about making that purchase.

DON'T FORGET THE WINE…

Don't forget all the "extras" when it comes to holiday spending. Often times we don't include things like postage for our holiday cards, flowers for the dining room table and extravagant food into our budget. The more honest you can be with yourself about your spending, will help to start the new year off right without debt.

DEBT = BAD, SIDE HUSTLE = GOOD

Speaking of debt, let's say you already have all of your gifts! Well, you may have gotten yourself into a financial pickle. If that's the case, then consider reworking your budget to eliminate some expenses, finding ways to increase your income like with a side hustle or use a website like PowerPay.org to make a plan to decrease your debt.

EXPERIENCES MEAN MORE. PERIOD.

Just a word to the wise. Think about the best holiday experiences you had with your family, while gifts are appreciated, holiday experiences like baking cookies with grandma or making snow angels with your children go a lot further than the newest action figure or doll.

The holidays can make us a little crazy with all the shopping for presents, foods and other things, sometimes we have to remember while all of those things are nice, are they worth going into debt for them? Keeping this at the forefront of your mind, can help with those last minute holiday expenses.

Source: Plan Well, Retire Well, November 2017

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/eb141/entry_13006

For more information on family life-related topics, contact Cheri Burcham at University of Illinois Extension at 217-543-3755 or at cburcham@illinois.edu For more information on University of Illinois Unit 19 programming and to read more helpful articles, visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/index.html or call us at 217-345-7034. Also visit the Family Files Blog at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/eb380/