Seven tips to stretch your money this holiday shopping season.
By Melissa Prashad
As you prepare your holiday shopping list—and your budget—remember, a little bit of planning can go a long way to achieving a financially healthy holiday season. With the holiday shopping season upon us, here are seven essential money-saving tips for consumers ahead of the busy spending season.
- Build a holiday budget—and stick to it. There’s so much pressure during the holiday season to buy and it’s easy to spend more money than you planned. Consider using tools like Budget, or another budgeting app, to help you stay on track and prevent overspending.
- Open a dedicated savings account. You might consider opening a holiday-specific savings account to put money aside each week. Saving for later will help make a difference when it’s time to buy gifts for your loved ones.
- Explore your credit card offers. Many credit cards have special offers based on your previous purchases that can help save money on holiday gifts, while others give special cash back deals for online purchases. Take advantage of those discounts and be flexible. If you can’t find a good deal on the gift you originally planned to buy, see if any of the special offers you qualify for might appeal to someone on your list.
- Use credit responsibly. Credit cards are handy financial tools, as long as they’re used responsibly Make sure you pay the balance each month by the due date to avoid interest charges or pay at least the minimum payment to avoid late fees. Resist the temptation to spend more than you can pay in any given month.
- Take advantage of coupons and discounts Retailers have already started holiday sales and, of course, all of the popular discount days—Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday– present opportunities to save. You can also use money-saving apps like Retail Me Not, Honey and Rakuten to get cash-back deals and discounts automatically when you shop online.
- Cut back on other expenses. The holiday season is a good time to cut back on impulse shopping or frivolous spending. Cutting out those unnecessary expenditures will allow you to account for the season’s natural surge in discretionary spending.
- Sign up for credit monitoring. The holiday season is a particularly vulnerable time for credit card fraud. Millions of people fall victim to fraudulent activity every year, and scams are more frequent than ever. Make sure you monitor your credit score and identity with confidence and sign up to receive alerts from Chase’s Credit Journey.