How to Save Money on Your Holiday Shopping
Even though you’re probably basking in the summer sun, soon it’ll be time to think about the upcoming holidays. In less than three months, it’ll also be time to think about how you’re going to buy everyone want they want without going into debt. If the holidays seem more like a source of contention instead of joy for you, you’re not alone. Each year, Americans spend millions of dollars on holiday shopping, usually on their credit cards. If you’re looking for ways to avoid this unpleasant holiday tradition, here’s what you can do.
One of the easiest ways, not to mention the least stressful, is to shop early. Start shopping as early as September or October to avoid crowded stores and impulse purchases. Shopping last minute usually means buying things that are out of your budget because what’s on your list is out of stock. Getting started even a month earlier than you usually do can help save money as well.
In addition to shopping earlier, you also need to eliminate recurring charges you don’t really use. This can be anything you are paying for each month but may not even remember having. For example, if you signed up for a free trial of Photoshop but forgot about it, you could be saving at least $30.00 a month right there. You should look at other non-essentials you’re paying for and cut out what’s not needed. In between movie streaming services or food delivery charges, it’s easy to spend upwards of $100 each month without having anything to show for it.
Create a Budget
Regardless of how much you earn, you need to stick to a monthly budget. Not knowing how much you’re spending each month can be a recipe for financial disaster. This is especially true when it comes to your credit cards. It’s easy to overspend during the holidays, so you need to have a set figure you’re comfortable with. If you’re still paying off last year’s expenses, a personal loan might be the answer. A private lender can help you get the money you need to pay off your credit card debt and consolidate any other outstanding expenses. This not only gives you a clean slate this season for this year’s purchases, it also makes it easier for you to pay off credit card debt to avoid that financial disaster.
Become a Bargain Hunter
Buying what’s on sale doesn’t mean buying things nobody wants. Similar to shopping early, you need to keep an eye out on the things you know your friends and family want. Take note of which stores carry these items and become a bargain hunter. If it’s something that’s likely to sell out, stores usually run promotions several months ahead of time to ensure they get more business. In fact, since most stores compete with each other, you can use this to your advantage. With valid proof, most stores will honor another’s price on the spot. And seeing as how you won’t have to go from store to store, you’ll save money on gas too.