Even if it feels different in 2020, the most wonderful time of the year has arrived! Get ready for the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping with these tips to keep your wallet – and everyone around your tree – happy.
Set a budget
Set a limit on your holiday spending! Even better, decide specifically who you will be buying gifts for and how much you would like to spend on each person. Having everything determined ahead of time will help you stick to your budget and keep you from being deterred by something that is “just perfect” for your dog’s babysitter’s sister.
Only use savings sparingly
If you plan to use your savings to purchase Christmas presents, do so sparingly. Choose to take money from the account earning the least amount of interest so you continue to earn as much as possible on your other savings accounts.
Use a Christmas Club account
If you have a Christmas Club account already set up, this is it’s time to shine! Cash in the matured balance of your Christmas club for any extra holiday shopping spend. If you have any Christmas Club cash left after you’ve checked your list twice, put it back into your Christmas Club for next year’s gifts.
Pay off debt quickly
If you choose to use credit cards or small holiday loans to do your Christmas shopping, try to pay them off as quickly as possible. Credit is there for you to use (wisely) during high spending times like the holidays, just make sure your debt doesn’t follow you throughout the New Year.
Shop sales and shop early
The holiday shopping season began extra early this year due to big sales typically held in the summer being postponed to the fall months. The odd timing of 2020 sales has many anticipating discounts throughout the holiday season, so take advantage of them! Since many supply chains aren’t running at their usual speed this year, you may miss out or be forced to pay more if you wait until the last minute to search for the season’s hottest gifts. If you’re usually a Christmas Eve shopper, plan ahead this year.
Track your spending
Budgets don’t work if you don’t religiously track your spending. By the time the day before Christmas sales come around, you might forget that you already bought little Billy the new shoes he asked for on Prime Day and end up double spending on new PlayStation games.
Even Buddy the Elf doesn’t always choose the right gift. Keep your receipts so that money doesn’t end up being wasted on unwanted or duplicate gifts.
Start preparing early
Once this season’s holiday shopping is complete, start preparing for next Christmas! If you don’t already have one, consider opening a Christmas Club or applying for a credit card a few months in advance so you have more spending power next year.
Did You Know?
If you’re using a credit card to shop this Christmas, the best one to use is from your financial institution. Store cards are great for getting exclusive discounts, but if you carry a balance like many people do around the holidays, you could be paying more than double the interest rate that you would have if you had used a non-store credit card, like a Patriot VISA. At that point, the discounts aren’t even worth it! To make the most out of your holiday shopping this year, visit our credit card page to learn more about getting your own Patriot VISA card today!