Nov 18, 2020 / Money Tips

4 Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping

The holiday shopping season is upon us (t-minus one week and counting until Black Friday). But with rumors of “shipageddon” (possible delays in parcel deliveries), the challenges of socially-distanced shopping, and certain retailers opting to act as pick-up locations only, this holiday shopping season will be unlike any other in recent memory.

Getting everything on your list will require a little extra preparation, positivity, and creativity. And, coincidentally, those same qualities can also help you make the holidays more affordable. Here are a few buying and budgeting tips to make the holidays merry and more financially manageable.

1. Make a List and Check it Often!

Decide how much you want to spend this holiday season and write down everything you need to buy. Having a master holiday list isn’t just a smart strategy for Santa. It can actually help you limit your expenses. Check your list often to make sure you’re staying on track with your holiday spending strategy. Keep a running tally of your expenses, make adjustments if necessary, and be good for goodness sake about staying under budget.

2. You Better Watch Out!

The best budgeting advice anyone can offer is to keep a close watch on your money. When you know how much you have in your account and how much you have set aside for the holidays, you’re much less likely to overspend (and cry and pout when the holidays are over). Whether that means downloading a budgeting app on your phone or managing your budget some other way, make sure you check your balances daily to see if you’ve been bad or good at keeping to your budget.

3. Hurry Down the Chimney!

If reports are accurate, the holiday hustle and bustle is expected to be a little extra hectic this year. That means it will pay (probably literally) to start shopping early. You’re much more likely to get everything you need on your list, and you’re much more likely to save money too. Shopping early gives you the luxury of watching and comparing prices and taking advantage of good deals. Plus, with 25% of people expecting to start holiday shopping earlier this year, you can beat the holiday rush and the late-season retail markups.

4. Put Some Extra Jingle in Your Pockets!

The holidays are expensive, so it’s never a bad idea to find ways to compensate for the outgoing cash and extra costs. Of course, money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees, but there is one simple way to drum up some extra money for the holidays. By paying a small, one-time fee, you can skip a payment on a qualifying Utah First loan. With the extra cash, you can pay for holiday expenses, family parties, or just to take a long winter’s nap from your loans and put some extra jingle in your pockets.

In a holiday shopping season unlike any other, make a spending strategy, check your accounts often, start shopping early, and let Utah First help you free up some extra holiday cash. Happy holiday shopping!