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The holiday shopping rush is upon us. If you’re worried this means you’ll need to risk going into debt, think again. Going all out on everyone’s Christmas gifts doesn’t mean you have to go into the red, instead, you can save your money by using the following tips.
Build a List & Do Your Homework
Santa checks his list twice, and you need to do the same. One of the best ways to make sure you don’t overdo it during the holidays is by writing down everything you have to purchase, or everyone you will be giving a gift. That way you can refer back to it, and check things off as you buy them.
Once you have a list together, then it’s time to start your research. One item can be sold by a variety of companies for a different price. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by trying to play the find the absolute best price game. But there are a lot of sites out there that simplify your search. Also, sales are always popping up during this time of year, so sign up for e-blasts from your favorite stores and follow them on social media to get notified.
Consider D.I.Y. or Second Hand Gifts
Sometimes it’s a personal touch that gets the biggest response. So rather than going big with a fancy store-bought gift, make your own present. Whether it’s baked goods or a DIY project, these options will save you some money. While you do pay some money to buy the components for the gift, you can save the money that you would have spent on higher-priced items.
If you’re not the craftiest person, visit second hand stores to purchase some unique finds. Thrift stores are full of a wide variety of items at low prices, so even finding something for the pickiest person on your list is possible. Buying used items at markdown discounts will save you a good chunk of change. Clearance racks, discount bins, and sale sections are all full of hidden treasures worth seeking out.
Remember Technology is Your Friend
Since your phone is most likely nearby right now, it’s time to put it to good use. Look into rewards programs at the stores you frequent or online retailers. Yup, getting paid to shop does add up when you have lots of gifts to buy. Sites like Rakuten or Swagbucks allow you to accumulate points in order to get cash-back or gift cards.
As mentioned before, signing up for emails is another great way to find the best deals. Creating a separate email account for these notifications ensures your regular account doesn’t get over flooded with offers. Plus, it reduces impulse buying tendencies for whenever you see a sale item. Price matching tools and coupons can be tracked down online as well. A simple Google search can pull in codes to use and deal sites for sale items.
Examine Your Payment Options
In addition to hunting for gift deals, seek out the best payment option too. If you are someone who overspends a lot, having a cash envelope system can curb this tendency. Using cash will give you a good idea of what you have to spend, and when all your money is gone, that’s it.
However, in the current COVID-19 world, credit and debit cards are a popular option for online shopping. Although they make payments easier and give you a larger spending range, they can come back to bite you if you’re not careful about the fees that are associated with using them. When looking for financially-friendly options, whether it’s a bank account or an app that helps you stay on track with your savings, find options without hidden costs and that make it possible to rebuild your financial status. That way, if you have a lower credit score, or you’re looking to prioritize financial wellness during the course of your holiday shopping, you won’t feel stressed or overwhelmed when purchasing gifts for your friends and family.
While achieving savings during the holiday shopping season seems tricky, it’s possible with the proper planning! By creating a shopping list, rethinking what gifts you can make yourself or buy second hand, using technology to track deals, and finding the right payment option for you. Following all of these tips will help you stay in the green, rather than the red this holiday season.