6 Tips for Holiday Shopping

The holidays can be an extremely stressful time, especially if you don’t plan ahead. Consider our 6 simple tips to ensure that you make the most of your money this holiday season.

1. Make a list

Be sure to make a list of each person you will need to have a gift for. Once you have finalized your list of gift recipients, go through the list and add what you think you will give each person. You may already know what you want to get someone, or they may have asked for something specific. Either way, add some sort of gift idea next to each recipient’s name on your list.

2. Set a budget

The term “budget” can be intimidating, but it’s easy to start with something simple. Your budget for holiday gifts should come from either disposable income, savings that you already have set aside, or a combination of both. If you’re worried that your holiday shopping budget won’t be enough, try to cut back on extra expenses such as takeout food, movies, or specialty coffee drinks.

3. Plan for other expenses

Holiday shopping doesn’t necessarily mean just shopping for gifts. There are many other expenses associated with the holiday season that are important to keep in mind. Consider costs such as gas for transportation, food for gatherings and parties, and shipping costs for items you purchase online. These costs can add up quickly, so be sure to factor them into your budget.

4. Take advantage of sales

Everybody loves a good deal, right? Keep an eye on specific items that you’re planning to purchase, as they will likely go on sale at some point. Many people wait until Black Friday for sales, but often better deals are available early in the holiday season. Comparison shop for your gifts from different stores and on their websites as this ensures that you get the best deal possible.

5. Get an early start

An early start to holiday shopping sets the tone for the season. The earlier you start your shopping, the better you’re able to stretch your money. If you wait until the last minute to do your holiday shopping, you’ll be faced with overwhelming expenses all at once. If you establish a plan to shop a little bit at a time, it will save you from too much stress in the long-run.

6. Use a mobile wallet

Using a mobile wallet will simplify your holiday shopping. Mobile wallets allow you to access your debit and credit cards digitally and make purchases without using a physical card. Mobile wallets are extremely secure and unique tokens are assigned to each card, which means that your actual card number is never exposed. Mobile wallets can be used in stores or online and can make your holiday shopping a whole lot easier!

Pro Tip: Don’t be fooled by store credit cards

Most shops and stores these days offer their own credit card. Opening one of these cards can be tempting, as there is often an initial discount on your purchase if you choose to open one. However, these are usually one-time discounts, and cannot be taken advantage of again. Store credit cards generally have high interest rates, which can end up being costly if you don’t pay off your balance immediately or fall behind on payments.

Instead, consider a credit card with options like rewards points, cash back, or a low rate. These types of benefits will be better in the long-run, and will help you be less stressed post-holiday season. Compare our Visa® credit card options here, and find the best fit for you.

Members 1st is here to help you through all of life’s most important moments and milestones. If you have any questions, please call Customer Service at (800) 237-7288, visit our website, or visit one of our various branch locations.

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