The holiday season is the time of year when personal expenses are likely to increase. Whether it may be travel expenses, events, or retail spending. Start preping your holiday savings strategies now. The 2020 holiday shopping season spend is expected to be substantial, but likely less than 2019’s Brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce spending of $1.007 trillion. Today, holiday shoppers spend less time looking for gifts, but spend more money, especially when shopping online. On average, shoppers in 2019 distributed their holiday spend among the following:
- $596 on experiences
- $511 on gifts
- $389 on non-gifts
Source: 2019 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey.
Without holiday savings strategies and spending plans in place, one can easily find themselves overspending. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan and execute your strategy:
Examine Your End of Year Financials
Determine if you are in the position to spend this holiday season or not. If you have experienced financial hardships this past year, spending less this holiday may be a wise decision and work toward replenishing your emergency fund instead.
Do not “Holiday Shop” Early
Early-bird shoppers spend more on average. Before Thanksgiving, consumers who do holiday shopping spend nearly $400 more than their later counterparts (Deloitte).
But do Shop Year-Round
Watch for items you plan to purchase anyway when they are discounted at any time during the year. Prices often fluctuate, and monitoring for the optimal time to buy may save you.
Set a Budget
Determine how much you want to spend before the purchase. Suppose the price is not within your budget, delay purchasing it. Secondly, make a shopping list and stick to it!
Open a Savings Account
Open an account specifically for holiday spending and contribute to it each month. Over the year, use this account for gifts, travel, and event purchases. When you can see the money accumulate and decrease over time, you know where it goes.
Pay with Cash vs. Using Credit
“Flashing cash” really can make a difference in what you pay. Because credit card processing fees can range from 2% to 5% of each sale, anything the retailer can do to cut costs and keep more money in their pocket can save you. For higher-priced items, ask the retailer if they offer a cash discount and if they are willing to accept cash during COVID-19. Secondly, using a credit card can accumulate interest charges if you carry balances longer than one month, making your purchases more expensive.
Enjoy the holidays with your savings and holiday savings strategies in place to help ensure a positive financial outcome long after the holiday ends.
At Zara Financial Group. We aim to provide an educational resource for those wanting to make intelligent decisions about their finances. Our goal is to help you live retirement the way you intended. Contact us today to schedule an introductory appointment.