Shoppers spend more money leading up to Christmas day - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Shoppers spend more money leading up to Christmas day

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Christmas is just days a way and for many, that means the rush is on to buy all those presents. But waiting until the last minute could cost you. Some financial experts said when shoppers have less time, they tend to spend more money on Christmas gifts.

For some shoppers, searching for last-minute gifts is as much of a tradition as the presents themselves.

"I just don't have time," said Ariel McCollum, who lives in Wausau. "There's not enough time in the day."

Many shoppers said having something special to give can make or break your holiday. But if you don't spend wisely, the season could also break the bank.

"Normally I have a set budget per person but this year, it's absolutely crazy," said McCollum.

Certified financial planner James Ison said he's a last minute shopper too. Instead of getting caught up in the thrill of the hunt,  he said shoppers should try to set a spending plan.

"Christmas is a great opportunity to implement it on a small scale," said Ison. "You say, I know I have to buy presents for these five people. I have a budget of a few hundred dollars to do it and this is how much I want to spend on each person."

Financial experts said holiday sales can be tempting. But if stores raise the base prices, those deals might not be as good as you would expect.

"You're paying almost the exact same amount you were the week before but it's on sale so in your mind, you feel better because you feel like you're getting a good deal so you spend more," said Ison.

As Christmas gets closer, some shoppers said they're trying to stick to their budgets. Others said they're willing to dole out a little more green for the perfect present for friends and family.

Ison said when you make a spending plan, you should make sure to take smaller expenses into account -- like donations to charities and bell ringers -- as well as the larger ones.

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