Yes, yes…it seems way too early to think about holiday shopping already. But by prepping now, you may be able to save yourself a few headaches once the holidays are upon us.
So, what can you do right now to help prep and save for holiday shopping? Consider one or all of the tips below.
Savings Plan: Go to Pinterest or Google and search “holiday savings plan.” You’ll be greeted with all sorts of options from “How to Save $1,000 in 20 Weeks” to “How to Save $500 in 30 Days.” Pick a plan that works best for you, and start putting money gradually aside.
Coupons: Will most of your shopping be at a handful of stores? There’s a good chance there will be a bunch of coupons or promo codes you can use while shopping at a brick and mortar location or online. They’re easy to find, too. Follow the store on social media or sign up for their email blasts. Sites like Groupon even have a coupon section where they list active coupon/promo codes.
Look at your current spending: Everyone enjoys treating themselves to a fancy coffee or some takeout every now and again, but if you get into the habit of treating yourself too often, you might find yourself strapped for cash when you need it most. Really, this is just a good tip year-round, not just for the holidays.
Make a list: How many times have you gone grocery shopping without a list and end up leaving with way more than expected, and you still somehow forgot to buy milk? Use the same logic. Make a list before you start your holiday shopping, and stick to it. Sure, all those sales are tempting, but resist! Your wallet will thank you later.
New school layaway: So, this might not help with saving, per se, but it will help with the initial sticker shock of buying some gifts. A number of Installment Payments Services exist, like QuadPay and AfterPay, that will split your purchase total into four equal payments usually scheduled about two weeks apart. Many major retailers – including Amazon, Target and Walmart – have partnered with these services. Think of it as “The New Layaway,” but you get your items right now. Now, you will have to keep track of your installments, especially if you pay with a debit card, but there’s no interest or fees with these services. Plus, they might buy you a little extra time to save up money, too.