6. Avoid 'Deal Envy.'
According to RetailMeNot's survey of more than 1,000 adults, the vast majority of shoppers discover discounts they could have applied toward purchases only after making the purchase – a situation dubbed "deal envy" by the company. "They felt regret, anxiety and guilt," Bodge says. Luckily, she adds, shoppers can avoid those negative feelings by spending some effort doing comparison shopping before sliding their plastic.
Still, she says there's nothing wrong with grabbing a good deal when you find one. "I found a great deal on cashmere gloves in September, so that's one gift checked off my list," she says. It's also easier on your budget to spread out holiday gifts over two months, instead of taking a big hit on one credit card statement.
Just remember to check off those early purchases from your list so you don't double up on presents by mistake.