The kids are back to school, temperatures are getting chilly, and store shelves are filled with pumpkin-spiced everything marked down on clearance…these are all symptoms of Autumn falling upon us. Before you know it, the holiday shopping season will be here—and immediately after—the post-holiday season that’ll leave you feeling broke.
Fear not holiday shoppers, you can remedy that holiday hangover and keep from feeling like you only have lumps of coal. Follow these steps to keep your wallet in check after the holiday shopping season.
Create a Gift List
Decide whom you’ll be buying gifts for this season, ask them for gift ideas, and come up with a number of how much you can spend. Create a list and stick to it.
Start Saving ASAP
Once you’ve created a gift list and a budget, open a savings account at a credit union and start depositing small amounts of money. This will keep your spending on track.
Many credit unions require a minimum balance on a savings account of at least $5, which is doable to keep the account active for next year’s holiday shopping. To find a credit union near you to open up your holiday savings account check out our credit union search engine here.
If you need to save more try selling unwanted items online on sites like eBay or on your mobile device on the Let Go app.
Shop Early and Before Black Friday
The best time to shop is right now before the Black Friday mess. The deals offered may run a week prior to Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. Having worked at a retailer before, I’ve seen pre-Black Friday sales that were the same as the Black Friday sales.
The deals you typically find may not actually even be the best ones, at least compared to sales offered throughout the year. They may even be the same ones from recent years. A Nerdwallet.com study surveying Black Friday deals in 2013 comparison to 2014 at 27 stores found that 93% of the ads contained at least one repeated deal.
O.K., smart holiday shopper. Now that you’ve got the remedy to your post-holiday stress you can start planning that tropical vacation you’ve been dreaming about…or building up your savings for a rainy (or snowy) day.