Start Saving before the Holidays


Blass Guerrero

Many stores like Walmart, have already started selling Christmas decorations trying to get customers to start thinking about the holiday season two months in advance.

The Christmas holiday season is just a month away. Many stores are already setting up Christmas merchandise, even though October has just started. Less than 80 days from Christmas, some planning can help with gifts and saving money this holiday season.

In 2019, Americans on average spent $1,325 in holiday debt, according to MagnifyMoney. Due to inflation, many Americans are expected to cut holiday spending this year, according to Garter. Starting your shopping early and planning ahead can help you save money while enjoying the holidays.

Create your shopping list

Start creating a list of friends and family members and ideas for gifts. Then do some research on the prices of gifts. Always overestimate and plan to get the most expensive product. Most stores and companies offer discounts or increase the price. Always have a backup gift for each member.

Setup a budget

Once you have finished creating your shopping list and checked it twice, it’s time to set up and plan a budget. First, create a separate savings account or use a piggy bank to store your money. Try to use cash instead of a credit card. If you’re using a piggy bank make sure it’s in a safe location. Next, calculate how much you will need to add to the savings. If possible, the best way is to add money every week and start early.

Compare and research products

Always look at multiple websites when looking for a specific product. Some companies offer a lower price for the same product on another one. Check websites every week or so to see if the product is increasing or decreasing the cost. Honey, an extension for your web browser, will compare prices from many retailers. Honey will notify you if the price drops for an item you’re looking for.

Start shopping early

As many retailers have already started the Christmas season, it’s best to start shopping early as well. It’s better to start shopping earlier than struggling and stressing to find the gift the day before Christmas. Many benefits to shopping early are finding better prices, less stress in finding the perfect gift for your family member and having more time for planning other things.

Holiday shopping events

Before the pandemic, the holiday shopping season started on Thanksgiving Day, when many stores started Black Friday that evening. Today retailers have taken different approaches to the holiday event. Like the last two years, Walmart will split Black Friday into three separate events on Nov. 11,18 and 25 starting at 6 a.m. Amazon will start Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day, lasts up to two days, and then have a separate event for Cyber Monday. Target will start weekly Black Friday deals beginning Oct. 15 in-store and online and will debut new deals every Sunday until Thanksgiving week.

Use coupons

Using coupons will help you save money if you’re on a budget or saving money for the holidays. While many still find coupons in newspapers, companies like Target and CVS carry digital coupons on their apps. The Honey extension for web browsers will automatically find and use coupon codes when you are ready to checkout. Even though you may not find coupons for the gifts you’re looking for, saving on everyday essentials can help you budget this year.