Tip #2: Plan Ahead for Holiday Savings
Now that you’ve got a handle on your gift list and other holiday spending expenses, make your dollars go further by taking advantage of Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other sales. Just don’t get carried away in the holiday frenzy and assume every item on sale is a good deal. To tell a genuinely excellent deal apart from a mediocre one, do your research. There are many price-comparison apps that can help your holiday finances go further — whether you’re shopping online or at the mall.
To take full advantage of holiday savings, plan early. Don’t wait for Black Friday to start holiday shopping — look for sales all year long. Doing so means your budget takes less of a hit at one time and you have more time to shop for sales. To save even more money, remember – it’s the thought that counts. For many people, spending time together is better than a physical gift. And remember, not everyone needs a gift. Have a thoughtful conversation with the people on your gift list. Maybe they want to cut back too. Buying one gift for one person, setting price limits on gifts, or only gifting inexpensive stocking stuffers could be just what everyone’s finances need.
If there’s one thing that 2020, 2021 and COVID-19 taught us, it’s that you need to plan ahead for life’s unexpected events. And remember, don’t dip into your emergency fund to pay for holiday spending. Another good reason to plan ahead? Shipping times. More people than ever will be doing their holiday shopping online, and that means shipping delays. Experts predict that factory shutdowns, overwhelmed ports, and shipping shortages will accelerate in the second half of 2021, making procrastinating on your holiday gift shopping even riskier than usual. Avoid expensive expedited shipping costs. Plan ahead and shop early.
And don’t forget, stick to your budget when holiday shopping. Hold the excess spending and give the people on your gift list what they (affordably) want and need. Going into debt — especially holiday debt — is not the way to spend your hard-earned money.