Holiday Shopping Tips from Steel Valley Wealth Strategies of Raymond James

Holiday shopping can seem overwhelming, endless, and sometimes even a real pain for some. For others, it’s one of the most fun times of the year! No matter which side of the shopping fence you fall on, you can still benefit from a few holiday shopping tips that will help you save money and maybe a little bit of your sanity as well.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may not be all they are cracked up to be: While there are some great deals on both of these days, you may be better off shopping earlier or even later into mid-December when retailers are really looking to make a deal!

Start with a budget: Setting a budget ahead of time can save you when you have to make some tough decisions in a store. Knowing the number you don’t want to go over ahead of time can make it easier for you to justify not spending money on items that maybe aren’t needed this holiday season.

Watch your credit card spending: Many people may want to put all of their shopping on their credit card. If you plan on paying off that balance quickly, and stick to that plan, then this isn’t a bad step. However, it can be easier to overspend by using only a credit card to buy presents and you can wind up paying for them even into the next holiday season!

You can buy the same present twice: If you find a present that you know a few people will enjoy, don’t hesitate to buy it for them as well. There’s no rule that everyone needs to have a different present, especially when they will enjoy the one you got for them!

Don’t shop on weekends: Weekends are the busiest times for shopping. If you can, plan to head out during the week to avoid lines and stress!

Use your phone: If you are at a brick and mortar store, use your phone to price check an item before purchasing it. You may find another better deal somewhere else. However, you can also bring that deal to the attention of the brick and mortar store and they may match it on the spot.

Why not make something this year? People love handmade items, no matter what they are. They show that you put time and effort and thought into a gift. Why not make something for someone this season?

Shop alone if you can: Of course, this may prove to be impossible for some people, however, if you’re able to shop alone you may eschew distractions and impulse buys.

Bring a list: Much like making a budget, making a list can keep you on a smart shopping path. You’ll know who you need to buy for and you’ll know when you’re done.

Remember what the holidays are all about: Over spending during the holidays is easy to do, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember what the holidays are all about and you can get through them with a happy wallet.