ROCHESTER, Minn. – As shoppers go to hit the stores this holiday season, experts say every shopper should plan ahead to know exactly how much they can afford to spend and where they can save the most.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average total of $967 this holiday season. This includes items such as decorations, candy, gifts, as well as purchases for themselves and family members.
Budgeting will take some researching and planning. Some experts say shoppers should compare all costs associated with shopping like shipping, fuel, parking, taxes, and other fees.
Some shoppers are already planning to budget during the holidays.
"Putting a little money aside at every paycheck, working extra hours," Yvonne Massuna, of Rochester, said.
"I usually just keep track of how much I have and like I ration out, like so much for gas and so much for food and all that, you know,” Zachary Vigesaa, of Stewartville, said.
"I like to start buying earlier in the year and buy things sporadically instead of wait inguntil December to buy everything," Amanda Kaufmann, of Rochester, said.
The National Foundation of Credit Counseling says you could save money by limiting your trips to the store or doing most of your shopping online. Before reaching for your credit card, the NFCC says you should make a plan to repay holiday debt.
Kaufmann said she writes everything down to know exactly where she’s at within her budget.
"I think the best thing to do is write down what you spend every month, Kaufmann said. “We keep, my husband and I, we keep a spread sheet and we track all of our purchases so we know throughout the month what we have left over so at the end of the month if we have something we want to buy and we have a little bit of extra, then we have the money. If not, we don't buy it."
According to a new survey by the National Retail Federation, young adults (ages 18-24) are the most likely to show an increase in spending.