Autumn just arrived, so it may seem too early to start your holiday shopping. The truth is, it’s never too early to start shopping for gifts! The earlier you start, the more money you’ll save. We’ve rounded up some tips to help you get started on your holiday shopping game plan:
- Make a List (and check it twice)
Don’t find yourself scrambling to buy gifts at the last minute. List out everyone you want to buy for this year and any early gift ideas you may have for each person. A list will help you prioritize gift giving, especially if you find yourself having to trim your spending.
- Plan a Budget
Decide how much you can afford to spend on gifts before you start your holiday shopping. Try to estimate how much you spent last year. Was it too much or did you have extra money left over? Use that information to plan how much you can spend on each gift.
- Set Aside Money
Separate the money you are saving for holiday gifts from your general funds so you won’t be tempted to dip into it for other purchases. Consider opening a separate savings account for the holidays and use direct deposit or automatic transfers to put a little of each paycheck into the account. Reloadable prepaid debit cards or gift cards are also good options for setting aside holiday money.
- Begin Buying Gifts Early to Spread Out Expenses
Purchasing gifts for everyone on your list all at once can really put a strain on your wallet. By starting your holiday shopping now, you can spread expenses out over several months. Fall is also a great time to catch sales on late summer items that may make good gifts. Don’t forget about layaway options, allowing you to make payments on items over a specific period of time.
- Sign up for Store Email Lists
As the holidays approach, many stores will email sales and specials to entice shoppers. Sign up to receive info from your favorite stores to be sure you don’t miss a coupon or bargain that can help you snag the perfect present!