Holiday shopping

Start Your Holiday Shopping Early to Save Money, Says Financial Expert

Many holiday shoppers are worried about the rising costs of holiday gifts amid inflation. A financial expert shares tips on saving money during this holiday shopping season.

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Inflation is weighing heavily on holiday shoppers this year, but experts say shoppers can save money by being proactive and staying early.

Consumers are expected to spend the similar amount of money this year, but they are likely to buy less given the rising prices of goods.

“We’re seeing consumers being more thoughtful with what they’re doing this year,” says Brian Levy, the founder of BML Wealth Management. “Online shoppers are already looking for deals and discount codes to stretch that dollar.”

With the inflation rate of 7.7%, here are ways to save money and stretch your dollar.

  • Start early: You want to make this holiday shopping season more special by being “intentional,” says Levy. Shopping can be spread out in the months of November and December, so the burden of shopping bill can also be spread out.
  • Create a budget: Having a spending plan will more likely encourage shoppers to stay within the budget.
  • Make a list: Write down the names of people for whom you want to shop. And decide early on what kind of gifts you want to get each person on that list.
  • Consider a gift-exchange: Be creative with other family members. Some families are opting to only buy gifts for younger members of the family.
  • Remember the extra costs: The additional costs of holiday decorations, wrapping papers and shipping can sneak up! Make sure to factor in the extra expenses into your holiday shopping budget.

Here’s what not to do to prevent overspending

  • Don’t dip into your savings: People have their emergency funds in their savings account. The money in your savings should not be used for extra costs like holiday shopping.
  • Don’t rely on credit cards: Using credit cards can be one of the worst things shoppers can do especially if they are unable to pay them off. With the average credit card interest rate hovering near 20%, accumulating credit card debt will be a bad way to start your new year.
  • Don’t mix holiday shopping budget with your necessary expenses: Set aside a separate account for holiday shopping. Designating a certain amount of cash only for shopping can also help you stay on track.
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