It’s crunch time for gift buying. Here are four mind tricks that will help you spend less during the last-minute rush.
1. Use the “10-second” rule. Whenever you’re about to buy something, hold it for ten seconds and ask yourself if you really need it or if that money could be better used on something else.
It’s especially helpful for stocking stuffers, since it’s easy to get carried away with small, inexpensive presents.
2. Go cash-only. Research shows that people spend a LOT more when using credit cards instead of cash. So if you want to keep your spending in check, try bringing only cash to the store.
3. Shop alone. The more people you bring along, the easier it becomes to impulse buy.
4. Take fewer shopping trips. The more time you spend shopping, the more money you’ll spend. So take fewer trips to the mall, and limit the number of stores you go into altogether.