Trying to find the perfect gift for the upcoming holiday season may be a bit more challenging this year due to product shortages, shipping delays and overall supply chain issues felt around the world.
Are you ready to start your shopping? Read on for tips on budgeting for the holidays and ways to cut costs to accommodate higher prices on many products.
Create your holiday budget… and stick to it
If you do not have a personal budget, it may be a good idea to create one. Here are tips on creating a budget.
- Review your finances: Make a list of your approximate monthly earnings and expenses. Group them into different categories so you can see where your money goes and what money is left over for miscellaneous purchases.
- Budget ahead for holiday shopping: When building your annual budget, make sure to include how much you plan to spend on gifts for the holidays. Set a realistic amount you can afford to spend on gifts based on the money left over after subtracting your expenses from your monthly earnings.
- Find a budgeting app or create a budgeting worksheet to document your typical monthly income sources and expenses: WaFd Bank offers a free online app-based budgeting tool that comes with your WaFd bank accounts. You can track your spending and see how making real-time adjustments can keep you on course with your budget.
Ways to cut costs on holiday shopping
- Do your research: It's always a good idea to shop around to find the best deals on items on your list. If you shop early, you will have more time to do these comparisons.
- Consider who is on your gift list: You do not have to buy for everyone you know. Make a list of who you would like to buy for and consider why they are on your list. Since everyone is struggling with higher prices on goods and services right now, consider drawing names among your family members or friends so you buy for one person rather than the whole group.
- Create your gift list: Be prepared with what gifts you plan to buy and follow your list so you don't end up overspending with a bunch of add-on purchases. If you decide to buy something other than what you've outlined, make sure to take something else off your list so you can keep to your budget.
- If you find a deal, buy it now: With shelves expected to be emptier this year, especially for toys, experts recommend purchasing gifts now if you see any sales since you may not find a better deal before the holidays.
- Choose the “pick up in store” option when purchasing online if you do not receive free shipping: The United States Postal Service recently announced temporary increases in shipping costs during the 2021 holiday season. If you make a purchase online that does not include free shipping, see if there is an option to pick it up at a nearby store to save on shipping costs.
- Think outside the box: Gifts do not just have to come pre-packaged from a store. Instead, consider homemade gifts or experiential gifts - gifts involving going to do something rather than receiving a physical item.
Need help managing your money?
We're here to help. Visit wafdbank.com to open an account or call us at 800-324-9375 to learn more. Interested in opening a savings account to put away money throughout the year for holiday spending? WaFd Bank's Saving Account requires just $25 to open ($10 under age 18) and only $100 to earn interest and avoid a monthly service fee.
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