This holiday shopping season is shaping up to be a little trickier than in previous years, which makes it easy to overspend. If you’re beginning to feel like you didn’t save as much for the holidays as you wanted to, or maybe you’re feeling the hurt of higher prices this year. Today’s financial environment has been a difficult one to navigate. In general, shopping and saving money during the holidays is a time consuming and costly venture. Here are some tips on how to save money this holiday season and all the others.
One of the easiest ways to overspend is waiting until the last minute and buying all your gifts in a rush. Not only are you more likely to overspend, but it also makes an already stressful time of the year even more so. So, shop early and often, doing so can ease the impact on your budget and allow you to score the best deals. While many prices are higher this year, retailers have already launched the holiday deal season, spreading out discounts and sales throughout the rest of the year.
Put in the Time to Find the Best Deals
Despite your best intentions, perfect gifts have a way of blowing your holiday budget. If you find a gift that’s over your budget, use your phone to see if you can find a better price elsewhere. Many stores have price-match policies if you find a better deal. After making that purchase keep the receipt handy in case the price drops, many times you can buy the better deal and return the higher-priced purchase.
Getting a good deal isn’t only about price, you can add on other savings with coupon codes and cash-back offers. Take advantage of these offers through apps like Rakuten and Ibotta. While online shopping there are many apps and browser extensions that can help you track and compare prices. They can even scour the web in the background while you shop and alert you to lower prices, coupon codes and cash-back opportunities. Some of these extensions include ShopSavvy, Camelizer, and Honey.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Look beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The sales you may see on one-day shopping events may sound appealing, but studies have shown there isn’t a huge difference in markdowns between one-day promotions and regular holiday sales. Many retailers may offer other sales during the holiday season that are just as good or maybe even better! Following your favorite retailers on social media or regularly visiting their website is a great way to discover these deals.
Stick to your budget, creating a budget is one thing but sticking to a budget is whole different challenge. Research the items on your list prior to starting your holiday shopping to help you develop a budget. This will avoid sticker shock as you’ll have an idea what each item will cost. You can also determine if you’re getting a good deal on a specific item when you do cost comparisons.
Stay on top of your spending by reviewing your account statements, paying your bills regularly and using online banking to easily monitor your accounts. If you purchase using a credit card, use one that offers cash back or other rewards. Since you’re going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get something, whether it’s retail discounts or travel deals, in return.
Don’t Forget Shipping
It’s not unusual for an online item to appear cheaper than its in-store counterpart—until you add in shipping costs. Also be aware of any delivery or service fees. Many retailers offer shipping coupons and/or participate in National Free Shipping Day. A one-day event that occurs in mid-December. This is a great day to take care of your last-minute holiday shopping while saving on shipping fees. In most cases, retailers will guarantee that these purchases are delivered before the big day!
Prepare for Next Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Having money already set aside for next season’s holiday shopping can be a real game changer when it comes to your holiday shopping. It can change the way you budget and your potential gift ideas, especially regarding big-ticket items. Having this saving cushion can prevent you from depleting your accounts or going into debt during the holidays.
At Credit Union of Denver, we offer a Holiday Savings Account! It allows you to add funds all year long, while it restricts withdrawals, it automatically rolls into your Prime Share Account on November 1st.
Saving money during the holidays is easier than you may think! Following a few simple tips and tricks can help you save cash during this otherwise expensive time of year.
Sources and enhanced by Credit Union of Denver