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Key to keeping Christmas shopping on budget? Expert says plan ahead

Click to play video: 'Planning ahead key to keeping Christmas list under budget: expert'
Planning ahead key to keeping Christmas list under budget: expert
WATCH: The Christmas season can be a busy time for businesses and an expensive stretch for shoppers. Erik Bay has some dos and don’ts when it comes to setting and sticking to a holiday budget. – Dec 9, 2022

Southern Alberta shoppers are finally getting into the holiday spirit.

According to one Lethbridge business owner, after a delayed push, Christmas shopping is starting to ramp up as the countdown to Dec. 25 continues.

“This year it hasn’t really started yet until this past week,” said Nicole Parder, owner of Impressions Gifts and Gourmet. “It’s really been a late start to the season for us and we’ve heard that from a lot of businesses.”

As more gifts are purchased and the holiday bills begin stacking up, December can be an expensive time for some.

“Putting food on the table, mortgage rates and everything else is increasing,” said Sarah Stachiw, PR and communications specialist with Bromwich and Smith.

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“Now we’re adding spending for our holiday season, friends and gifts. It’s overwhelming for a lot of Canadians.”

Debt relief specialists Bromwich and Smith released this year’s 12 Financial Blunders of Christmas.

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The list includes late-night online shopping, shopping while hungry and not comparing prices as some of the most common mistakes buyers make around the holidays.

Click to play video: 'Holiday Financial Planning'
Holiday Financial Planning

First on the list is overbuying.

Stachiw says planning ahead is the best way to avoid any shopping miscues.

“If you go into a store and you don’t know what you’re buying or missing things, you’re going to end up going back to the store and buying more things. It’s just going to be a big pattern.”

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Local businesses are echoing that advice, urging customers to be prepared and give themselves plenty of time to put their gifts under the tree.

“Don’t wait, hurry up and get it done,” said Nancy Graham, manager at Cupper’s Coffee and Tea.

“Be aware that shipping costs are expensive right now, because of freight and fuel surcharges.

“Shortages aren’t as bad as they have been in previous years, but there’s still some products that are tricky to get ahold of.”

Click to play video: 'Reducing your holiday spending and keeping on budget'
Reducing your holiday spending and keeping on budget

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