Shop Now, Relax Later: Preparing for the Holiday Season The Smart Way

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated January 27, 2021

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Money Saving Tips
October 30, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

The holidays are a great season to spend quality time with loved ones and friends. However, the busy holiday shopping season is what most families and people do not look forward to. With this in mind, there are ways to plan and get a head start on your holiday shopping need. This includes staying within your budget, while sticking to a plan that does not leave you in debt, stress and tension.

There is nothing like finding the right deals and discounts on the items you need for the holidays. Even with online shopping sites like Amazon, eBay and Google, most families still visit brick and mortar establishments for their holiday shopping. With this in mind, now is a great time to visit your local department stores to stock up on the latest brands and accessories.

While Thanksgiving is usually the start of the busy holiday shopping season, October is a great month to find all types of deals and discounts. This will avoid the rush and long holiday checkout lines, and you can stay ahead of the curve by pinpointing and buying exactly what you need; clothing, toys, electronics, fragrances, ornaments, and so on.

The holidays do not have to be stressful – or leave you out of pocket – with the right budgeting plan. Simply allocate some money every week for your holiday gift shopping needs. Make a list of family members, friends and co-workers you have to shop for – then plan accordingly within your holiday spending budget. At no time should you go over your budget and plan, which can leave you strapped for cash when the holidays arrive in a few weeks.

Staying out of debt and shopping only for the items you need is the best way to enjoy the holidays. You will not have to worry about post-holiday credit card payments, since you utilized your allocated budget to get the gifts for the holiday season. However, you may be tempted to go a bit beyond the budget, which is ultimately up to you. Just be sure to have enough cash flow on hand to cover the bills and payments during or after the holidays.

If you prefer the convenience of online shopping, stick with it before the holidays. However, be prepared for shipping delays, and the chance that some items can get lost during transit. Similarly, you have to keep a close eye on front-door or mailbox package deliveries – especially with the rise in Amazon package delivery thefts across the country. Most shopping experts recommend physical shopping, which allows you to keep all your purchased items in close reach. You can also schedule same day deliveries for larger items like hope chests, bedroom accessories, and other lavish and elegant gift for the holidays,

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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