The holidays are a time of celebration and cheer for many, but they often come at a high cost. actual, National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that the average person will spend just over $832 on gifts and celebrations this winter holiday season. This amount is not significantly different from previous years.
The holiday season is expensive, and many people experience financial stress during this time. Not only can holiday shopping put a serious strain on your wallet, it can also ruin your overall experience.
Fortunately, there are some ways to ease the financial burden of shopping for the holidays. One way is to start shopping now. GOBankingRates spoke to consumer expert Samantha Landau. top cashback usaand Brad Godwin, Senior Vice President and Head of Partnerships. shop kick, about the benefits of doing your holiday shopping early. Here’s what they said:
Have time to create a budget-friendly list
Making a holiday shopping list will save you a lot of time at the store, but starting early will also give you plenty of time to think of gift ideas for friends and family. Additionally, having a list will help you avoid going over budget.
“The first step to planning this holiday season is to make a list of the things you plan to buy,” says Landau. “This allows you to avoid last-minute purchases and plan within your budget.”
Once you have your to-do list organized, you can take your time and head to the store.
“Early holiday shopping allows consumers to take advantage of pre-holiday time to jot down gift ideas for each person on their list,” Godwin added. “Having a clear idea of what you want to buy will save you time and help you stick to your budget.”
Shop early to find great deals
Another benefit of making your list and starting your holiday shopping early is that you’re more likely to find early shopper sales and discounts. You may also be able to purchase gifts and holiday decorations before prices go up or stocks run out.
Landau said holiday shopping lists don’t have to be comprehensive, but creating a list makes it easier to research and document current or upcoming sales.
“You don’t have to include everything on your list right now, but it’s good to have a rough idea of how much you plan to spend and how many people you’re buying for,” Landau said. “You can use this list to research if there are any notable deals. This will help you decide if it’s worth buying early or waiting for a sale.”
Save money with peace of mind
If you’ve ever waited until the last minute to do your holiday shopping, you know how stressful it can be to find an affordable gift for someone. But shopping early can save you money while avoiding the stress of finding the perfect gift.
“According to recent information, investigation “According to TopCashback research, nearly one-third (31%) of Americans have already started their holiday shopping this year,” Landau said. “Knowing that you’ve got the perfect gift for the hectic holiday season is such a relief. Plus, it gives you more room to spread out your budget over the coming weeks to make your holiday expenses a little more affordable.” ”
Save money and time by ordering in advance
Winter holidays are the perfect time for exciting new products to hit store shelves. These items could make great gifts, and you’re probably not the only one who thinks so.
If you’re starting your shopping journey now, you may benefit from pre-ordering some of these new products. In some cases, you may receive a price discount for pre-ordering. That’s why Landau suggests finding out what’s coming next and ordering now.
“If a new or popular gift is on your shopping list this holiday season, find out when it’s available for purchase,” says Landau. “Purchasing in advance may save you money and stress. Pre-ordering may seem like a guarantee of getting the product, but there is still a chance that pre-orders will run out of stock. We recommend that you purchase the item as soon as possible to avoid this.
More time to compare prices and deals
Another reason it’s smart to start your holiday shopping early is because it gives you more time to compare prices on different gifts across retailers.
“Buying gifts in advance means consumers don’t always have to settle for the first deal they come across,” Godwin said. “You have time to compare prices from different retailers to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.”
You can take advantage of cashback
The cash back rewards you get when you use your credit or debit card are a great way to save money during your holiday shopping. The same goes for free browser extensions to help you find great deals when shopping online.
“When purchasing holiday gifts online, be sure to use a cashback site like TopCashback, which guarantees the best money-back rates at over 7,000 retailers nationwide, including Macy’s, Walmart, and Sephora. “We are working hard,” Landau said.
Other free browser extensions that can help you save money include Honey and CamelCamelCamel, the latter of which can also track the cost of items over time.
You may be able to avoid shipping charges
If you plan to shop online, you may have to pay shipping and handling charges. The closer we get to the holiday season, the more likely you are to have to pay expedited shipping fees to ensure your purchased gifts arrive in time. Not only is this a hassle, but it can also be stressful and expensive.
However, you can avoid some or all shipping costs by purchasing early.
“A big benefit of shopping early during the holiday season is that consumers don’t have to rush to receive their items,” Godwin said. “Whenever possible, you can pick up your gift in-store, and if something needs shipping, you can choose the longest and cheapest option, because your gift will arrive well before you need it. .”
If you’re an avid online shopper, the cost-saving potential here is especially important. It’s also helpful if you don’t have Amazon Prime or don’t qualify for free shipping at retailers like Walmart or Target.
You may still benefit from price adjustments
One of the downsides to shopping early during the holiday season is that certain items may go on sale soon after you purchase them. For example, Landau noted that if you wait until late November to shop, you might get a great deal.
The good news is that some stores will adjust prices or refund you the extra money you spent on items that are cheaper later. However, this is usually available for a short period of time, usually within 14 days of purchasing the item.
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