Watch out for the 6 hidden expenses while shopping in the holidays

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By: Good Nelly
on 3rd Dec,2011

The holiday shopping season has begun with Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The people are already in a shopping spree.
Watch out for the 6 hidden expenses while shopping in the holidays

The holiday shopping season has begun with Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The people are already in a shopping spree. You must have already calculated the amount you want to spend on gifts, decorations, food, apparels, etc. However, do you know that there are some hidden expenses that may make you cross your holiday budget even without your knowledge? Glance through the article to know about 6 hidden expenses that may drain your funds amidst the excitement of the holidays.

Beware of the hidden expenses while shopping in the holidays

Here are some hidden expenses which you should avoid while shopping with your family during the holidays or the festive season.

1. Shopping trips: You'll need your car for the shopping trips. It won't be possible to walk several miles with all the gifts in your hand. This means that you'll have to spend a few extra dollars for refilling your car at several times. Besides, you may have to pay a parking fee to the shopping mall authority, which will make you stretch your holiday budget further.

If you have taken a pledge to not cross your budget by any chance, then you can look out for the friends who want to go for shopping too. You and your friends can share the bill and save money.  

2. Taxes: Around 45 states across the nation charge sales taxes on the retail purchases. The rates vary between 4% and 7.25%. This implies that you may end up spending anything between $28 and $51 in sales tax alone.     

Sit at home and browse through several shopping websites. Some websites do not charge any sales tax on the products. You can buy the choicest items from there, and avoid spending extra dollars.  

3. Babysitting costs: You and your spouse might be extremely excited to take your children to the supermarket. However, your children might not share the same sentiment. They might loath the very idea of shopping. Besides, they might make unnecessary problems when you're engrossed into purchasing a lovely gift for your mother. However, if you can't ask your children to accompany to the shop, then you may have to search for a babysitter to look after your children at house. After all, it may not be safe to allow the children to stay alone at house.

A baby sitter will not take care of your children without getting any money from you. You'll have to take out some dollars from your wallet and pay her. This is an expense which you might not have included in your holiday budget.

A good tip to avoid this expense will be to ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your children when you're not at home. You may even ask your friend to drop at your house while returning from office. Another option will be to ask a fellow parent to look after your house. You can return the favor when he/she goes for holiday shopping.   

4. Self expenses: Holiday is a time to shop for yourself and others. You love to buy beautiful apparels, accessories, foods, etc. for yourself. After all, who does not love to show off to the people? However, all the things come with a price tag, and you'll have to spend a good amount to decorate your house and yourself.

It is expected that an average consumer will spend around $130 on himself/herself in the year 2011, which is $18 more than the last year. People are already spending around $700 for their loved ones. This means that they are spending more than $800 during the holidays.

If you don't wish to spend extra money during the holidays, then you need to buy only those things which are there in your shopping list. Restrict yourself from buying whatever you see in the market.   

5. Wrapping papers: People often remember about the gift wraps at the last moment. They often remember about them at the night before handing over the gifts. They rush to the store in the morning and pay more than what actually is required. In reality, the grocery stores charge a high price on the wrapping papers. So, instead of heading to the nearest grocery store at the break of dawn, go to a dollar store and buy a wrapping paper. You may not get a beautiful wrapping paper at the dollar store, but then your friends will not keep them at their house only. They are most likely to throw them out.

6. Electricity bills: You have purchased bulbs of various shapes and sizes to illuminate your house during the nights. You have installed the bulbs at the various parts of the house. However, leaving your bulbs on during the nights can increase your electricity bill and cost you extra money. So, it is better to turn off the lights before going to the bed. If you really want your house glow throughout the night, then make sure you curtail other expenses.

Finally, if you're going to spend your holidays at your friend's house, then try to travel with minimum suitcases. This is because you'll have to pay fees to the airlines for the checking of your bags. If you have a huge number of suitcases, then you'll have to pay a higher fee. You can reduce the number of bags by sending the gifts (you have purchased for your friend and his family) earlier.

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