The holiday season can be the most wonderful -and expensive- time of the year, but you don’t have to spend your life savings to enjoy the festive time.
Money professionals have shared tips on how Americans can keep costs down during the holidays, especially when it comes to buying gifts.
Plan before you spend
Creating a budget can help you avoid overspending as you look for the perfect gifts for friends and family.
Experts from Go Banking Rates suggest that consumers begin holiday shopping earlier, which could help you take advantage of more deals or ensure that select items will be on your doorstep before Christmas
Avoid Paying with Credit Cards
While it may seem tempting to purchase holiday gifts with credit cards to earn more points, experts recommend limiting the credit purchases to items you can pay back quickly, according to the Good Housekeeping magazine.
If you have any points from credit cards, memberships, etc., now is the time to redeem them. Waiting until the holidays to redeem unused points can save you money and potentially cover the entire cost of a gift.
Avoid “buy now, pay later”
While delayed payment plans can seem tempting, they can often lead to you paying more for an item than you would if you bought it outright, according to Good Housekeeping.
Take advantage of discounts
Many retailers offer price match options for items sold at competitor locations; however, consumers are urged to read the fine print for any product exclusions or limitations, according to Good Housekeeping.
Order everything at once
If you plan on ordering items from the same store, bundling orders will save you money on shipping, handling, and delivery fees, according to the Go Banking Rates website.
Send the Gift to the Recipient
If you are shopping for someone you won’t see on Christmas, sending the gift to their residence will eliminate spending money to forward the package. Multiple stores also offer gift wrapping and personalized note options, so they know when to open the gift.
Use Incognito Mode
Retailers might increase the price of their product if they are alerted that someone is looking at it online from a specific location; Incognito Mode limits that from happening, according to Good Housekeeping magazine.