The holiday season is such an exciting time of the year. There is so much to love about it — all the yummy food, sparkling lights, time spent with family and gift-giving. While it’s fun to shop all the great deals and find the perfect gifts for loved ones, it can easily put a dent in your finances if you’re not careful. I challenge you to sit down and take a look at your budget before you spend any more money this year. You’ll be thankful come January when your finances are in check!
4 Money-Saving Holiday Shopping Tips
To help you stay on budget over the holidays and avoid overspending, here are four money-saving holiday shopping tips:
1. Use a Budgeting App to Stay on Track
To help simplify your finances by syncing all of your accounts, use an app to:
- Monitor your spending
- Manage your budget while shopping
- Pay your bills on time
2. Earn Cash Back for Your Shopping
Most major credit card issuers offer an online shopping portal, like Discover Deals, which gives you cash back when you shop at your favorite stores after connecting through the Discover Deals site. With Discover, you can redeem those credit card rewards for a statement credit or a direct deposit.
3. DIY to Save Dollars
To avoid the crowded malls and overzealous shoppers, DIY gifts are a great option. A few inexpensive and easy-to-make gifts include:
- Mason jar recipes filled with delicious treats
- Homemade sugar body scrub scented with essential oils
- Customized coffee mug, calendar or photo book
- Homemade treats such as cookies, bars or fudge
4. Make Your Money Work for You
If using a credit card to purchase gifts, make sure it comes with benefits, like discounts from your favorite retailers and cash back rewards. For example, the Discover it® cash rewards card gives cardmembers:
- 5% Cashback Bonus® in categories that change each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.
- 1% Cashback Bonus on all other purchases
- New cardmembers earn double cash back on their first year purchases
- The ability to pay with your Cashback Bonus on Amazon.com
Discover’s Annual Holiday Survey Results
According to Discover’s annual holiday survey, spending is expected to be on the rise this holiday season. After an 11 percent drop in expected holiday spending from $1,014 in 2013 to $900 in 2014, consumers plan to spend three percent more in 2015.
As shoppers’ budgets increase, here is a breakdown of how millennials vs. non-millennials plan to check names off their lists:
- 52% of millennials say they’ll do most of their holiday shopping online, compared to 42% of non-millennials
- 73% of millennials will use a smartphone or tablet for holiday shopping this year versus 32% of non-millennials
- When it comes to mobile wallets, 36 percent of millennials surveyed currently use that technology, compared to 15 percent of non-millennials. Among those using a mobile wallet, 80 percent of millennials say they will use it for holiday shopping, compared to 69 percent of non-millennials.
See more findings here.
With just a few weeks left of the year, there’s no better time than now to take control of your finances. Shop and spend wisely and use a budget app to stay on track. Save money by making your own gifts and don’t forget to take advantage of all your credit card benefits!
How do you keep your budget in check over the holiday shopping season?
I wrote this post as part of the Discover Preferred Blogger Program. All opinions are my own.