How To Have a Happy Wallet This Holiday Season

Winter holiday shopping season is here already! Believe it or not, the time has quietly crept up on us. Or maybe not so quietly in fact. There has been no shortage of news and talk about rising inflation. Maybe in response to the news and the price of virtually everything going up, you were able to get ahead of the curve by starting your shopping early — a tried and true method for holiday shopping success no matter what is going on with the economy.

Whether this is true for you or not, it’s OK. There are still deals to be taken advantage of and savings to be gained. But these wins won’t happen by accident. You need to be intentional about your shopping process. You need a winning strategy.

Follow these three tips to help you to win this holiday shopping season:

  1. Make a spending plan. Start by considering for whom you need to buy gifts. Next, assign maximum spending amounts for each person on your list. If you know what you want to buy for each person you can begin to price shop; we will talk about that next. Don’t forget to include expenses beyond gifts in your spending plan. You should consider the cost of travel, decorations, hosting items and food. Make sure you calculate all food costs, including any extra takeout you might get to avoid cooking the day before the big event. How much might that dining out or takeout add to your budget? These are the types of expenses that if not included up front, can leave us wondering where all our money went when the season is over.
  2. Price shop and look for discounts. Remember, Google is your friend. Use Google’s shopping page to quickly compare prices for gifts that you have already identified. Whether your search is generic or a specific brand, Google will quickly search the web to find which retailers have what you’re looking for, and at what price are they selling it. Even if you decide to not shop online, this price comparison will give you a better idea of reasonable prices for the items that you are looking for. Some offline retailers may even be willing to price match. Go the extra mile and use discount, coupon and reward finders such as Honey, Rakuten, Ibotta and BeFrugal to maximize savings and cash back.
  3. Put social media to work for you. If you are already scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tik Tok, why not use the time to find deals to help you to win the season? Use hashtags such as #sale, #discount, #coupon and #savings to find money-saving opportunities. Just because one of these hashtags is used, doesn’t mean that every product is a good deal. Use this as a starting point for your comparison.

If you need help thinking through any of the tips provided, the ProMedica Financial Opportunity (FOC) is here to help. Schedule a confidential one-on-one appointment with a ProMedica Financial Opportunity Center financial coach to discuss your unique situation. This service is offered at no cost. Contact ProMedica Ebeid Center for more information at 567-585-0059 or foc@promedica.org.