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Money Matters – Week Before Christmas: Procrastinators Get the Best Deals

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Shopping Bargains

File Photo (Credit: AP)

420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Such a deal you can get if you wait! That’s what my mother used to tell me. And she may be right about Christmas shopping.

[Audio http://cbsboston.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/december-17-2010-money-matters.mp3%5D

The deals out there are great right now. And if you shop online and think it’s too late fear not. If you order today you can still get the item for Christmas. An estimated 1,000+ participating merchants will offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve.

The stores are having blow out sales as well to get you to shop. So by procrastinating you may have done yourself a favor as far as saving money but I’m not sure about the stress level that occurs when you wait!

The stores will be open over the weekend with long hours and some like the chain drug stores will even be open Christmas morning so if you really wait until the last minute you can still get something for everyone on your list. And if you run out of wrapping paper they will have it.

I know many of you have done your shopping and have everything wrapped and are feeling very smug. As you should. But there are still individuals out there that wait until this week to shop.

Close to 25% of the holiday sales take place this week. The interesting fact I found is that the sales are almost evenly spread out over the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

My daughter is a last minute shopper. She finds it easier to shop here rather than shop in California where she lives and lug the stuff here. And it is so much easier if anything needs to be returned!

She has a tradition that she shops on Christmas Eve. She claims the deals are good and the clerks for the most part are cordial. Now traffic and parking are another story. She also likes to shop the small local shops rather than the malls. Mall traffic inside and out can be a problem.

In our family lore, she is famous for the bargains she has found at the last minute. She has become proficient at focusing on what she wants to get and she does the prep work. She has a strategy as to the stores she will hit and how much she is willing to spend on an item.

She maps out her trip, where she will park, how long it should take and exactly how much she will spend. She often calls ahead to be sure they have the item and will ask them to set it aside for her. That also eliminates wandering through the store and browsing which as we all know promotes Santa Syndrome.

One more thing: Santa Syndrome is a shoppers’ disease that happens most often around Christmas. We don’t know if what we got is enough. We have shopped and maybe even wrapped our presents and we begin to wonder if we got enough. You got your dad a sweater but maybe you should add a shirt to go with it. You got a bathrobe for your sister at a great sale price last month but maybe you should add slippers.

Try not to get caught up in the Santa Syndrome by making out a list and sticking to it. I know it’s not easy to do. Impulse shopping gets us all in trouble.

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