It’s that time of year again – bells are ringing, carolers are caroling, and mediocre holiday songs are polluting airwaves across America. Yup, ’tis the season . . . to fall in debt.
According to Statistic Brain, 90% of shoppers this year will be buying most of their holiday presents online, with the average person spending 22% more this year than last year. In fact, as commercial spending is expected to increase, more and more companies are looking to cash in, so to speak, on this new wave of online shopping. But while salient sales and buy-one-get-one-half-off deals may seem like a bargain, you often end up buying more than you want, or need.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to please the ones you love this year. Here are a few ways you can stay frugal without looking like a Scrooge.
Make a Budget. Check it Twice
Even the most frugal shopper turns to putty at an amazing deal (I know I have). Deals are common this time of year, and it’s easy to fall under the spell of buying something simply because you think you’re getting a deal. That’s why it helps to plan ahead.
Before you start your holiday shopping, make a budget of how much you’re able (or willing) to spend. Stick to that budget, and you’ll find yourself much, much happier come next year.
Wait Now, Pay Later
Most shops tend to have massive sales the day after Christmas. If you’re not above giving a few gifts late, it’s a good way to find amazing deals.
The Fiscal Times just published an article on the 6 things you should never buy until after the holidays. Among them were clothing, electronics and furniture. Here’s why:
- Clothing: It’s no secret that shops like Gap and Old Navy wait till the day after Christmas to have their biggest sales. If you’re OK with buying clothing at 50, 60 or even 75% off, wait. While you’re not guaranteed enormous savings, it’s a pretty safe bet.
- Electronics: Because your “brand new” computer will be yesterday’s news in a week, most electronics companies roll out new lines at the beginning of the year, making last year’s module obsolete . . . and cheap. January-February is prime electronics buying season. So if you’re in the market for a new laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc., you may want to wait just a little longer.
- Furniture: As with electronics, most furniture companies debut new collections at the beginning of the year. Lucky for you, that makes last year’s models all the cheaper. According to many bargain experts, January-February is the best time to buy furniture, as that’s when most major retail stores like Target and Home Depot have their annual sales.
Knowing Where to Find the Best Deals
Because I’m such a savvy shopper, I’ve compiled a list of my 5 favorite discounted sites. If you take nothing else away from this article, take this:
- Coupons.com – Offering a wide range of different, you guessed it, coupons, this shop is a must for every cost-cutting shopper.
- Dealnews.com – With daily deals and coupons, this site has offers on everything from discounted dog sweaters to Amazon.com gift cards.
- TechBargains.com – In the mood for a new tablet or laptop? Check here first. TechBargains has great deals when it comes to electronics.
- Fatwallet.com – Much like Dealnews, Fatwallet offers daily coupons and various discounted offers. They even have a section for deals in your area.
- Woot.com – Saving the best for last, this site is a cornucopia of discounted items. And while they offer a variety of different deals, the main reason this site is so popular is because they offer daily “mega” deals on specific items.
Being more proactive in your quest for holiday deals can help you buy more for less. Remember to stick to your budget, as one of the biggest causes of the post-holiday blues is because people realize they spent way more than they anticipated.
If you’re facing financial hardships this holiday season, give one of our certified credit counselors a call at 800-500-6489. We’ll take a look at your finances and help you create a budget that works.
Happy holidays from your friends at CreditGuard!