It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the holiday season also has a lot of folks stressing about their bank accounts. According to a new Credit Karma survey, 54% of Americans feel more financially stressed about the holidays than last year. But you can find the perfect presents for everyone on your nice list without breaking the bank and these tips from financial experts can help.
- Create a budget – And get specific! Colleen McCreary, chief people officer at Credit Karma, advises starting with a list of everyone you plan to buy gifts for and setting a dollar amount per person. That way you’ve got an itemized list of people and prices and know how much you have to spend.
- Stick to the budget – This is the tricky part. One thing that may help you stay on track? Don’t impulse buy, even if it’s a really good deal. Follow your budget and you’re less likely to overspend.
- Compare prices and sign up for rewards – Most of the time emails from retailers are just annoying, but during the holidays? Those updates can help you compare prices, find discounts and coupons.
- Be aware of shipping dates – Planning ahead doesn’t stop with the budget and list. Since you’ll probably be doing a lot of online shopping this year, keep shipping dates in mind so your gifts arrive in time. Internet sales are expected to be through the roof, so order sooner than you usually would to be safe.
- Buy meaningful gifts – It’s not about how much you spend, your loved ones would love a thoughtful, meaningful gift and those don’t have to be expensive.
- Support small businesses – Many of them are struggling during the pandemic, so give local shops a boost by doing your holiday shopping there. Experiences are more fun than owning things, so think beyond knickknacks when you’re buying this year.