Holiday shopping season is nearly upon us, but many Americans are tightening their belts as they deal with higher prices for groceries and other necessities. Here are some simple ways you can make this holiday season merry without putting a squeeze on your wallet.
START WITH A PLAN
Have an idea of what you want to buy and how much you can afford to spend. Take the time to make a list of everyone you want to buy for, with two to three ideas for each person, and set price limits. Be sure to account for any Secret Santa and holiday gift exchanges as well. Keep the list handy and check off the names as you purchase the gifts.
STACK REWARDS WITH DISCOUNTS
Reward stacking is the term for combining several shopping rewards programs to maximize the discounts, points and cash back you receive for a purchase. This could mean buying a gift using a credit card that allows you to earn cash back and using a discount browser extension on top of that, as well as a store coupon.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Right now, retail inventories are full of items that were often unavailable during the pandemic due to supply chain issues. Furniture and home décor aren’t typical holiday gifts, but the longer they hang around, the steeper their discounts may be through the end of the year.
GIVE GIFT CARDS
If you’re a chronic over-spender or worried about your usual gifts costing way more than you’re expecting, consider gift cards. Gift cards allow you to avoid high inflation on goods and services. Another big plus: You’ll know exactly how much you spent at the end of the season.
TRY CONSCIOUS GIFTING
Instead of loading up multiple gifts per person, consider embracing conscious gift giving. The practice focuses on meaningful spending that fulfills a purpose in someone’s life, such as a unique secondhand item or a family portrait.
The holidays should be a time to relax and spend time with family and friends. Don’t let going overbudget stress you out. Take a deep breath, do some planning in advance and shop smart this season.
Navigator Credit Union has 12 branches along the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts. Learn more at navigatorcu.org or call 800-344-3281.