Our 2 Cents

Avoid Holiday Budget Strain by Shopping Early

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holiday shopping

Here’s how you can enjoy the holidays without putting your graduation date in jeopardy.

Get organized. Make a list of everyone you’re shopping for in advance and set a budget so you avoid unnecessary purchases. If you need help keeping track of everything, create a spreadsheet so you have all the information you need at a glance. Make columns for who you’re buying for, your budget for each person, and what you actually spent — then check them off the list when you’re done. It may take a few minutes to set up, but it’ll save you a ton of time and money in the long run!

Summertime sales cure the wintertime blues. Around mid-year, stores start clearing out their summer inventory to make room for new fall stock. This means huge summer sales (hello, Labor Day!) and clearance sections full of discounted name-brand clothing, housewares, and more. Take advantage of these great deals and you could be done with all your holiday shopping before the first autumn leaf hits the ground.

Phone it in for huge savings! Flash sale apps like Hautelook and Zulily offer great ways to get designer merchandise for a fraction of the retail price. Not sure how a flash sale works? Just download the app and sign up for a free membership, then check back daily for new private sales. Most only last a few days, and the drawback is the items often take much longer to ship (as long as 3-4 weeks) but you can get some amazing merchandise at huge discounts (as much as 70-80% off in many cases). And since you’re shopping early anyway, you know you will have your items in time for the holidays.

Lay it away for a rainy (holi)day. If you’re planning on getting someone on your list a pricier item like a TV, phone, or laptop, consider putting it on layaway now so you can pay it off in installments and still have it reserved in time for holiday gift giving. It’s a great way to make monthly payments on the items you want when you no longer have access to credit cards. Plus there’s no interest, and you can usually pick your own installment plan.


About the Author:

Jamie is a customer experience champion whose been serving the needs of her customers and clients for more than 15 years. She strives to provide her customers with the information needed to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, for their unique situation. Education and information are knowledge, and knowledge is power!