By Coach Fin
With holiday shopping right around the corner, experts tell us consumers are primed to spend more than ever this year. According to a recent survey from MagnifyMoney, the average holiday shopper accumulated more than $1,200 of debt from purchases last holiday season — and 64% reported the debt was unexpected.
But, shopping smarter isn’t always harder. The first step to reduce overspending just requires a little planning. Establish a budget ahead of time – and have the discipline to stick to it! With that number in mind, you’re ready to start shopping. Whether in-store or online, here are tips on four ways you can keep your expenses in line this holiday season.
Cut unnecessary shipping costs
Save on shipping — numerous retailers offer in-store pickup for online orders. This option allows you to have your order delivered to the store of your choice, free of charge. In addition, Cinfed World Mastercard® offers a complimentary ShopRunner membership that includes free 2-day shipping and returns at more than 100 retailers.
Do your research before checking out. Several retailers (such as Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Target, among others) have a price-match policy that will honor a lower price offered from competing retailers. Other stores, like Nordstrom, automatically adjust and list their prices accordingly, helping you shop confidently knowing you’re getting the best price while eliminating that additional research!
Choose the best payment method
Before taking on additional debt, think about how you plan to pay it back. Consider paying in cash, especially for higher priced items. Another option is a credit card, which is convenient, but make sure you’re aware of the interest rate you’ll be charged if you don’t pay off the balance quickly. You can also plan ahead and apply for a personal loan, which may have a lower interest rate and allow you to establish a schedule to pay back in set monthly installments.
Many restaurants offer discounts or bonus cards for qualifying gift card purchases. Jeff Ruby’s, Ruth Chris, Morton’s, BJ’s, Cold Stone, O’Charley’s are among several. Check out others on this list, here.
Transition into the new year with more money in your wallet! For extra help on managing your holiday spending, a discussion or planning session with a financial professional could help. Cinfed’s financial coaches can help with a holiday spending plan as well as an overall plan. Schedule an appointment today.