How to Shop for the Holidays on a Budget

How to Shop for the Holidays on a Budget
Topics BudgetingSaving

The holiday season is upon us!

With inflation reaching 40-year highs, this year’s holiday season may result in budgets being stretched thinner. While inflation has certainly impacted many budgets, Deloitte’s 2022 Holiday Retail Survey projects consumers to spend on average $1,455, on pace with 2021.

Whether your shopping budget is higher or lower, with the right plan in place, you can ensure you have a happy holiday without breaking the bank.

Here are tips to help you shop for family and friends on your list this year.

Make Your List and Check it Twice
With prices on just about everything rising this past year, it will be more important than ever to rein in your holiday shopping list.

Start simple by making a list of those you need to shop for and then take a hard look at your available budget to decide how much you can afford to spend on each person. Knowing the total you’re looking to spend as well as the limit for each person will help make tough decisions a bit easier when you’re at the store or browsing online.

Once you have your list and budget set, now is the time to hunt for deals!

Search for Sales, But Watch for Scams
The sooner you can get started on your shopping the better, as you’ll be able to spend more time hunting for discounts to ensure you get the best prices. Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be great opportunities to knock some items off your list without paying full price.

It’s also vital that while hunting for sales you’re staying vigilant of scams.

Ensure you’re only shopping through trusted websites, and check them carefully before providing your personal or financial information. If a deal seems too good to be true, it may be a scam.

When making your purchases, it is also important to know what fraud protections are offered on your cards. Federal law caps your liability for fraudulent credit card purchases at $50, but many debit cards also offer fraud protection.

Carefully review the terms and conditions of your debit and credit cards, and use the one with the best protections. Just ensure you’re keeping a close eye on all of your various statements throughout the holidays and the year.

Cash in Rewards
If you use a credit card with rewards regularly, now could be an opportune time to cash those in to help reduce the amount of gifts you’re purchasing out of your pocket.

While rewards credit cards can be a great tool, it is important to remember to pay your balance in full when possible to avoid accruing interest, especially while rates are elevated.

Focus on Family and Friendships
While giving and receiving gifts can be a great feeling, it is important to remember that the holidays are a time to be with those you love most.

If your budget doesn’t have the room for material gifts this year, call an audible and look for a volunteer event or outing to spend quality time with your friends and family. Many organizations are eager for volunteers to help out, particularly during the holidays, and this could serve as a great opportunity to bond with loved ones while making a difference for those less fortunate.

If you have the means, consider donating to initiatives like the WSFS Food Drive, which is collecting nonperishable donations at banking offices until December 31, sponsoring a family to provide holiday gifts, or donating to a cause near to your heart.

The holidays are a time to spread love and cheer. With the right planning, you can ensure you have a happy holiday without breaking the bank.

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