Smart Shopping During the Holidaze

Can you believe it’s November already?! Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday are just around the corner.

For those on a budget or have limited time for the daze of holiday shopping, here are a few financial tips to give you more cookie dough in your wallet and remain on Santa’s nice list.

Don’t Pay for Shipping

For those items where you’ll put gifts under the tree or hand deliver to friends and family, then shopping online with an in-store pickup avoids the pesky upcharge for shipping.

Retailers know their customers are savvy; often you’ll get free shipping on orders of $50 or more. If you’re not already an Amazon Prime member, consider a free trial. Prime membership may be worth it just to avoid the long lines at the local UPS store or USPS office during the busy holiday season.

eBates, Groupon & Other Saving Sites

With an eBates account, shop your favorite retailers’ websites and get a percentage back on purchases. eBates tracks your purchases and sends you a check separately. You can apply the savings to your holiday shopping list or treat yourself.

You probably already know about Groupon and their deals and coupons. Woot is another, often featuring tech gadgets. Other apps to consider are: ShopSavvy, CouponCabin, Retale, and Santa’s Bag.

Wait for Holiday Sales

Retailers started displaying their holiday wares back in August. So as the height of the season hits, so are the deep discounts. Sometimes waiting can save you a bundle. On the flip side, colors and sizes may be limited. However, it might not really matter to you, especially when stocking up on stocking stuffers and non-holiday specific items.

Retailer Apps & Coupons

Many of us comparison shop via our mobile phones while shopping in a store. Retailers now offer special deals via their store app as a way to earn your business. Be aware that in-store prices don’t always match online prices. So, double-check and see if they’ll match an online price at the cash register.

Keep To Your List

Studies have shown that shoppers who prepare a list in advance, tend to stick to their financial plan and spend less. Use those shopping apps to your best advantage. Or, keep an old-fashioned paper list with you. Whenever or however you shop systematically cross off items.

Consider Experiential Gifts Instead

Not a fan of shopping malls and all the holiday hype? Consider giving the gift of your time. Have lunch with your bestie. Make an outing with your cuz by seeing a movie. We often remember the experiences we have with each other… not the stuff.

A Twist to Gift Giving

With the recent wildfires in Sonoma and Napa Counties, many families are struggling. In lieu of exchanging gifts, adopt a needy family in your community. Or, if you’re globally minded, nonprofits like Heifer International work with communities to end world hunger and poverty. Now that’s a gift to feel good about.

Not Sure What To Budget?

Feel like your financial life is in disarray? Need help in figuring out what you can comfortably afford to spend this holiday season? Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation.


Photo credit: Christmas Story Lamp, Pug Winter Land

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