Jorge Ruiz, NYLAG Senior Financial Counselor
We know only some can spend money during the holidays. For many, household finances have taken a hit this year. They may be facing unemployment and unable to increase their income. If you are in this situation, please know that NYLAG’s financial counselors can meet with you to prepare an emergency plan to help you protect your assets, prioritize your expenses and be ready for the next couple of months. Click here to connect with a NYLAG financial counselor.
Despite the challenging economy, supply chain disruptions, and inflation, the National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates this year’s retail sales will achieve an outstanding $960.4 billion, a record nationwide. While this information is welcome news to businesses large and small, the average consumer still needs help finding ways to save a buck during the holiday shopping frenzy.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your holiday shopping budget:
1. Timing is key: Keep track of sale prices on the items you want to purchase at strategic times when they may be extremely discounted. Making a list of the items you would like to purchase, and their prices may help you decide to purchase more affordable alternatives.
Although there are some caveats, overall, American consumers receive more significant discounts on the following dates during the calendar year:
|Dates||How much of a discount can you expect?|
|October 11th and 12th during “Amazon Prime Day”|
At least 20%
|November 25th during Black Friday||An average of 37.2%, – according to a recent study by Wallet Hub, where they surveyed 4,000 deals from 16 of the main US retailers.|
|November 28th on Cyber Monday||Up to 26%, if it follows the trend from 2021, according to a Salesforce study.|
2. Do your research: Another way you can save on gift purchasing during the holidays is by doing comparison shopping online. You can use different shopping engines such as Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, Yahoo Shopping among others.
- Make sure not only to compare the item price, but also to consider any shipping costs and the reviews of the item. Sites provide hundreds of reviews that could help you decide if the item is worth the expense.
- Keep in mind that online prices tend to be lower than in-store prices. Still, some “doorbuster” deals may only be accessed in-store. Always go back to your list and only purchase what you already selected from that list.
3. Cash-back and promo codes: Once again, it is essential to be methodical when using cash-back deals or promotional codes. You should make sure you decide what you want, and not be persuaded to purchase items just because they have a promo code or a big discount.
- If you are using a credit card, make sure that you have the money to pay the entire balance in full to avoid incurring any interest and fees.
- Some credit cards offer rewards that can be applied to online purchases, and some others let you choose a category where you can apply your rewards. There are also special cash back deals with certain retailers, exclusive for you when you login into your credit card account.
- You can also subscribe to coupon sites such as Rakuten, RetailmeNot and Offers.com, which offer promo codes through their browser extension while you shop online. The browser extension will notify you if there is a cash-back deal through your account with them and will process it at checkout.
4.Consider alternate ways of gift-giving: Lastly, there are some alternative forms of gift-giving. Examples would be making a gift for someone, giving your time to them, or donating to a charity or a cause that you care about. Ultimately, there are many ways to save and give during the holiday season.
Hopefully this was helpful in giving some best practices, and new approaches to take during this busy holiday season!
Still have questions?
It is important to stay in control of your finances this holiday season. NYLAG Financial Counselors can help you develop a plan to control your spending.