There is no denying it anymore; the holidays are right around the corner once again. So many people go into debt for the holidays, but I’m not into playing that game. I prefer to shop smarter and have found that I save a lot of money with online shopping and saving with a combination of strategies and I am going to share those strategies with you now.
These are very simple tips to help you shop smart, save money, and have a happier holiday!
Set up a Holiday Savings Account
Set up a Holiday Savings Account with your bank or on your own. Often referred to as a Christmas Club, this is a special savings account that you put a certain percentage of your paycheck or make regular deposits into for all of your holiday shopping. In September or October, the money is released to you for your holiday shopping and this way you won’t go into debt or be broke in January.
Setting up an account on your own could earn a higher interest rate than a traditional Christmas Club, so it’s worth looking into several options before opening your holiday savings account. If you aren’t disciplined and think you may dip into the money before it’s time, then setting it up through your bank may be your best bet.
Use rewards points
Use your credit cards wisely. If you have cards that give you rewards points for purchases, use it. Free money is always welcome, right? But don’t let that balance linger because then you will pay more and it won’t be worth it. Use the card, get the points, then pay off the statement balance or, better yet, the entire balance each month using your Holiday Savings Account money or designated savings account.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but how often do you go to your favorite online retailer and purchase from them without shopping around? There is one large retailer that often has the lowest prices, but it’s not always the case so don’t take it for granted that the price you see is the lowest one available. Especially as we get closer to the holidays, retailers that you may not expect might have the lowest price. There are several price comparison browser extensions you can use to make this even easier.
Use cashback sites for online shopping
When shopping online, use an online rebates site like Rakuten, formerly Ebates. It is free to use and you will typically earn 1% to 10% cashback on your purchases just by shopping through their link. This can really add up and who doesn’t want free money? There are several cashback sites, so check a few of them to see which is offering the highest percentage. You can do this easily by adding browser extensions, which is also great because they will pop up whenever you’re on a site with available cashback so you won’t forget to use their link.
Even if you shop last minute, many stores allow local pickup. You will get the savings and the rebate and will still be able to get your purchase on the same day. You can also add your debit card number and you will earn cashback even if you shop in the store.
Related Post: Don’t Shop Online Without this Chrome Coupon Extension
Speaking of coupons, don’t forget to use them! Many retailers offer online-only coupons so it ends up being less expensive to shop online. There are some retailers that even allow you to use a percentage off coupon in addition to a $10 off coupon and/or store rewards points. There are many coupon codes available for online retailers. You can find them easily by using a search engine or going directly to sites like RetailMeNot, which also has its own cashback program. There are coupon browser extensions that will automatically add coupon codes during checkout to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Use your coupons strategically for maximum savings.