The holidays are here — are you ready? Here are 5 tips for your holiday shopping strategy:
1. Take Inventory
Before you head out shopping or get tempted by a holiday sale, take inventory of what you already have at home. Last year’s wrapping paper or cards might do the trick this year and save you some money. Or, you may find your old stockings are past their prime and need a refresh.
2. Make a Budget
Set a spending limit to prevent overspending, and make a list that includes everything you’ll need to buy: gifts, wrapping paper, decorations, holiday meal supplies, travel fund, etc. Compare prices online to get an idea of what you intend to spend, and to give you an idea of where you can save money. It’s also a good idea to factor in a little extra in your budget to cover surprise or discretionary purchases — like a nice lunch out with family after shopping for gifts, or to take advantage of a sale on a pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.
3. Keep a List
Keep your holiday shopping list handy. Sales are designed with psychological tricks to compel us to shop, so it’s easy to get caught up in the game of saving a dollar. And this time of year, it seems like there’s a sale everywhere you turn. Before you buy, stop, check your list, and think — is this something you need?
4. Use Rewards
Make every purchase count — use debit or credit cards that earn points for purchases to maximize your purchasing power, like your SESLOC HomeFREE Checking debit card or Visa Signature Rewards credit card. And don’t forget to take advantage of your rewards points! You can redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards, or use Pay with Points* to get reimbursed for eligible purchases in real-time, helping you stretch your holiday budget.
5. Shop Local
Looking for the perfect gift? Don’t forget to shop local — a gift card to their favorite local restaurant or an experience like kayaking or ziplining could be the perfect thing.
*See Pay With Points terms, conditions, restrictions and eligibility at www.sesloc.org.