Holiday shoppers typically head to malls with turkey bellies and wallets full of cash the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of the Black Friday sale. But in 2021, Black Friday spending fell year over year for the first time, according to Adobe Digital Insights.
Total online spending for Black Friday was $ 8.9 billion, which is slightly lower than last year’s total of $ 9 billion.
Buyers are strategic in their gift purchases, buy much earlier in the season, and are flexible about when to shop to ensure they get the best deals.
That being said, the post-Thanksgiving shopping vacation – including Black Friday and Cyber Monday – is still by far the strongest online selling days of the season. Adobe predicts Cyber Monday will be the biggest online shopping day of 2021, with consumers spending between $ 10.2 billion and $ 11.3 billion.
If you still have a few holiday purchases left, read on for tips on how to save money and avoid overspending. Plus, learn what to do with your current purchasing debt, including credit card consolidation. Visit Credible to compare interest rates on a variety of financial products without affecting your credit score.
THE RISKS OF USING BUY NOW, PAY LATER TO FINANCE HOLIDAY SHOPPING
3 shopping tips to help you save money this holiday season
It’s easy to overdo with spending when you’re in the holiday spirit, but you don’t have to sacrifice your financial well-being for the perfect gift. Follow these personal finance tips to keep your money in check:
- Create a holiday shopping budget
- Use online price tracking tools
- Enjoy the rewards of credit cards
Learn more about each buying strategy in the sections below.
1. Create a holiday shopping budget
The holiday season can be a time of financial stress for many Americans. A recent Ally Bank poll found that 32% of consumers are worried about overspending during the holiday season.
“Almost a third of Americans we polled fear going over budget this holiday season, but 2 in 5 are not using a plan or budget,” said Lindsey Bell, chief market and marketing strategist. money at Ally’s.
Here’s how to create a realistic vacation spending plan:
- Make a list of each person on your gift list
- Set a spending limit for each beneficiary
- Set aside money for unforeseen expenses like shipping costs
To make things even easier, consider downloading a free budgeting app that can help you track your progress and notify you when you’re overspending.
“Tracking expenses is now as easy as clicking a mouse or opening an app,” Bell said. “You can also sign up for automatic account alerts and use card checks to set limits on transaction amounts and merchant categories. “
70% OF AMERICANS EXCEED THE BUDGET DURING THE HOLIDAYS, ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY
2. Use online price tracking tools
Online shopping has made it easier to find the lowest prices for the year’s most popular holiday gifts, relieving consumers of the pressure of managing all of their holiday shopping on Black Friday. Visits to physical stores on Black Friday are down 28.3% from pre-pandemic levels, according to a report from Sensormatic Solutions.
Some online retailers, like Amazon, allow you to track the price of items in your cart and send you an alert if prices suddenly drop. It can help you avoid the urgent pressure to make a purchase at a shopping party like Black Friday.
In addition, the price tracking software provides an additional level of transparency regarding purchasing costs. Free tools like Honey and ShopSavvy let you see the price history of items, so you can tell if you’re overpaying or getting a good deal.
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3. Take advantage of the rewards of credit cards
The holiday season is a great time to use up the credit card rewards you’ve accumulated throughout the year. You can use travel miles to cover airfare costs to visit family – you can even redeem those points for gift cards that you can use to fund your vacation expenses.
If you don’t have a rewards credit card, you may be able to sign up before the holidays to earn an extra bonus. Some credit card welcome offers include bonus cash back, reward points, or even an interest-free introductory period.
Compare the credit card issuers in the table below and visit Credible to see a full list of reward credit cards.
INTEREST RATES ON CREDIT CARDS RISE TO ALMOST HIGH ALL TIME, FED DATA SHOWS
Ever accumulated vacation debt? Consider consolidating to save money
Almost half of consumers started their holiday shopping before November, according to the National Retail Federation. If you’ve ever increased your credit card balances over the holiday season, you may be able to save money in the New Year through debt consolidation.
A popular way to consolidate credit card debt is to take out an unsecured personal loan, which is a lump sum loan that you pay off in regular monthly installments over a set period of time.
Since personal loans have low fixed interest rates, they can help you save money compared to credit cards. While credit card interest rates are currently 17.13%, according to the Federal Reserve, the average two-year personal loan rate is 9.39%.
Borrowers with good credit can potentially save nearly $ 2,400 by consolidating their credit card debt into a personal loan, according to recent analysis by Credible. A personal loan can also offer lower monthly payments than what you are currently paying on your credit cards.
You can view your estimated personal loan rate and repayment terms for free on Credible to see if debt consolidation is right for you.
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