December 13, 2023 · Budget, Credit, Holiday, Savings

6 Quick Tips for Saving During Holiday Shopping

Whether shopping for food, for gifts, or for yourself, shopping is commonplace holiday activity. Something always needs to be bought, and it’s always better save some money when spending, whether it’s for absolutely essential or for not quite so necessary items. But saving money may involve some extra effort, such as going to multiple stores or waiting for seasonal sales, and that effort may actually end up hindering our efforts to be careful with our cash if we inadvertently get too enthusiastic with holiday shopping. We may then happily congratulate ourselves on all the money we’re saving because we are spending more of it. But not all money-saving tips take a significant amount of time or activity for people to benefit from them.

So, for some easy, quick tips to help save money while doing either essential or non-essential holiday purchasing, then…

  1. Spend only what you can afford. Yes, this is very fundamental advice on managing money, but holidays can be an easy incentive to bust budgets and go big on spending for gifts and trips. Set spending boundaries and don’t try to escape them with excessive purchasing, regardless of how good a deal is or by coming up with some other very appealing, rational justification for getting outside financial limits. Spending more than you can afford to not only hurts your finances, it can also cause stress and anxiety.
  2. Sign up for emails and texts from favorites stores for advance notice of sales and from websites that focus on hunting down and sharing deals. In addition to hitting the sales in your favorite brick-and-mortar stores, always check out online sites for bargains, and take advantage of offers for free shipping.
  3. Pay attention to the money-saving offers from your credit card provider. Credit card providers may provide monthly (or more frequent) emails with special discounts for their card members from many well-known retailers. Sign up for the emails and check them carefully for relevant discounts.
  4. Shop with rewards points from credit cards. Use your credit card rewards points for gifts of merchandise or travel and save points throughout the year to use for next year’s holiday time.
  5. Be on the lookout for retailer gift card deals. During holiday sales, merchants will often offer discounts of 10% or more for their gift cards, sometimes with free shipping. Since gift cards come in varying amounts, they can be a primary gift or a side gift stocking-stuffer.
  6. Don’t overlook perfectly functional, almost pristine, refurbished goods. Used, but fully functional (and almost cosmetically perfect) gear is a great way to save on gifts, especially for electronics such as popular mobile phones, tablet computers, big-brand laptops, desktop computers, monitors, headphones, earbuds, sporting goods, musical instruments, and stereo equipment.

Taking time now to do some of the above actions could save money throughout the holiday season—and possibly strengthen personal finances as the calendar prepares to transition into the new year. So, help yourself save money, avoid stress, and keep your finances healthy during the holidays with frugal planning and actions.

Interested in more advice on handling holidays?

More information on managing finances is available from free, monthly Delta Community Financial Education Center webinars on many different money-related topics. Please visit the Financial Education Center's Events & Seminars page to register for its no-cost, on-demand webinars.

Delta Community’s blog and security posts have a lot of advice on holidays:

Would you like more BALANCE™ in your holiday finances?

BALANCE™ is a financial education and counseling organization that offers free services to Delta Community members. Some of its services include credit report reviews, debt management, and information on budgeting, money management and home buying.

Visit the BALANCE™ website to learn about their education and assistance programs. Members can also speak with certified credit and housing counselors to get personalized guidance.

Want to connect with a Financial Coach about your specific situation? Chat online, e-mail, or call 1-888-456-2227 to speak with a Financial Coach today.

Note that the services offered through BALANCE™ are separate and distinct from any business conducted with Delta Community and are not guaranteed by, nor are they obligations of, the Credit Union.