Believe it or not, the holidays are approaching and the best time to start creating your game plan is now! The biggest holiday weekend of the year will be here before we know it - Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. If you want to save money this holiday season, we have tips that should be easy to implement and even easier to save. It’s all about making a list and checking it twice - Santa is not the only one who should do this.
Make a list.
Really! And check it twice. Yes! Creating a game plan before you head out to start shopping is the best plan. This way you have an idea what you’re looking for and the expected pricing. This also helps greatly with staying within your budget (which you should set and stick with).
Don’t go with the first item you find at the first store you visit (in-person or online). Do your research and comparison shop to find the best deal. Saving a few bucks here and there will add up in the long run. Where are the discounts? Who is having a sale?
Determine where you will splurge.
We know that sometimes there is that one thing that requires splurging (after comparison shopping, of course!). So, determine ahead of time what your big ticket item will be and, on the flip side, determine where you will save.
Save all receipts.
This is important for multiple reasons. First, this will help you track and record your expenses. Second, on the off chance that something you buy needs to be returned or exchanged, the option is available.
Use cash when possible.
If you’re shopping in person, use cash or your debit card when possible. Avoid automatically turning over your credit card. Although it may be easy, the costs will add up quickly and interest will add up quicker. Using cash or debt means you’re paying for the item right then and there, and there will be no additional mountain of costs to pay later.
Plan for extra costs.
Don’t forget shipping! And, depending on what you’re buying, there may also be service and handling costs. Don’t let these additional costs sneak up on you, be prepared for them! Rather than making multiple orders, make one bulk order to save on shipping and possibly even qualify for free shipping.