We’re officially in the holiday shopping season! Now more than ever, Americans will be seeking out retailers with the best possible gift deals and looking for ways to save extra money on everything from making a holiday feast to booking travel. Follow our ultimate guide to 2022 holiday shopping and saving.
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Plan Ahead and Budget
Take the stress out of holiday spending, whether you shop in-person or online, by planning ahead using some of these smart spending strategies from experts.
- Make a list. Lindsey Bell, chief markets and money strategist at Ally, recommends making a list before you head out to go shopping.
- Set a holiday budget. Setting a holiday budget allows you to create itemized expenses, said Matthew Paxton, founder of Hypernia. Earmark a budget amount for each person on your list and stick to it to avoid overspending.
- Create a sinking fund specifically for holiday shopping.
- Be wary about participating in buy now, pay later payment options.
Need extra budgeting help? We’ve got you covered with additional money-saving tips.
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Use Credit Cards Like a Pro
Rather than racking up credit card debt from all your holiday purchases, follow these credit card hacks and use best credit card practices to save money. You’ll find advice to fit every person’s financial needs including:
- Consider signing up for a new credit card. Those who do decide to open a new card are recommended to look for one that offers a 0% APR on purchases as an introductory offer.
- Best practices for shopping with a cash-back card
- Best practices for shopping with a rewards credit card or store credit card
- How to use cards that offer price protection or zero-liability protection policies
- Tips for paying off your credit card balance including creating a repayment plan
Shop Strategically With Your Wallet
Beyond wise credit card usage, there are several ways you can get your wallet to work in your favor while holiday shopping. Follow these wallet-specific shopping strategies.
- Sign up for emails and newsletters from retailers where you’ll do the majority of your shopping.
- Review ads from retailers, including when the deal starts.
- Join loyalty programs in stores, especially those that are free and provide rewards when shopping.
- Download apps where you can find even more coupons and deals.
- Use up the balances on any leftover gift cards you may have to help pay for holiday shopping expenses.
Holiday Dinner Shopping
Many Americans will be careful shopping for holiday meals this year. No matter what you’re planning to serve, our holiday dinner budget tips ensure you’ll be able to serve up an affordable feast for one and all. If you’re planning to hosts a holiday dinnerfollow these tips to stick to your budget.
Holiday Travel Planning
Navigating holiday travel during this time of the year can be tough. Make the experience less stressful and more strategic with this travel advice.
Understand Store Return Policies
Every retailer varies when it comes to store return policies and it’s important for all shoppers to understand these return policies. Check out the GOBankingRates’ roundup of store return policies for stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Target and more retailers.
Know Holiday Store Hours
Don’t race to get to the store and find out it’s closed for the day! Make sure you have a full list of holiday hours for Costco, Walgreens, Kohl’s and Lowe’s in 2022.
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this article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Ultimate Guide to 2022 Holiday Shopping and Saving
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