With the holiday season upon us, millions of Americans are beginning to flood stores and online retailers in hopes of tackling their Christmas shopping lists. And boy-oh-boy is there bound to be a lot of spending in the next couple weeks. In fact, the estimated holiday season sales for 2022 are projected to be somewhere in the region of $850 billion, with the average American spending around $1,000, per the National Retail Federation…
…Do you hear that? That’s a lot of toys being built up at the North Pole…
It seems like each year, the American culture becomes more comfortable with increased spending as it relates to holiday gifting, and with this increase in spending comes an increase in anxiety for many households around the country. This year, inflation is causing high price tags and few discounts. To help you navigate through these tricky waters, we wanted to lay out 5 practical ways to ensure that you do not overspend this holiday season.
- Make a plan. (AKA “a budget”)
First and foremost, you are going to need to have a plan and budget in place for your holiday spending. Without a solid gameplan in place, you’ll be making mindless purchases without any idea of how much dough you are dishing out. Take a hard look at your entire financial situation and decide what a comfortable amount of spending on holiday gifts would look like in your household. Be sure to leave yourself a little wiggle room for last-minute additions to your gift list.
Please try to avoid racking up extra debt while holiday shopping. Believe me, no one on your gift lists wants you to take on debt just to get them a present… it’s just not worth it – I promise.
- Develop your list of gift receivers.
Start with your list of people who you would like to give a gift to, and those who you might be ok with passing on this year. I know, it is tough to drop people from the gift list, but be sure to give good thought to everyone on your list… Is there anyone that can get a handwritten Christmas card this time around? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.
Once you have the list of people you’d like to give a gift to, take the budget that you built out in step one and begin to divide it out amongst your group. Now, it is up to you to decide who will receive the larger share of the budget for their gifts but be sure to not go over your budget in trying to make everyone “even”.
- Consider different options for each person on your list.
For each of the people on your list, try to come up with a few different gift options. Do not back yourself into a position where you need to overspend on an item just because you “can’t think of anything else to get them”. Think outside of the box and come up with multiple ideas for each person, then choose whichever gift is going to best suit your gameplan (ahem, “budget” 😉).
- Look for discounts.
Like I said in my opening paragraphs, discounts and sales might be hard to find this year, but they are still out there! The tough part is finding them. Make sure to take your time when purchasing a gift, especially when buying online. Be sure to look at offerings from as many vendors as you can find. It goes without saying, but the cheaper you can find your gift items, the more room you have in that budget.
- Stick to the plan.
The holidays are going to inevitably bring on some added stress in certain areas of your life, even if you are like me and love the Christmas season! Don’t let these stressors affect your decision-making process when it comes to gift-giving. You’ve built out a strong holiday gifting plan, now stick to it, purchase your gifts, and move on to enjoying what the holidays are all about – enjoying special time with your family and friends.
Good luck in hitting those stores! Best wishes in finding those deals and holiday steals! From all of us here at Deerwood Bank, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.