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5 Smart Reasons to Get a Head Start on Holiday Shopping

Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner! While traditionally, many people wait until December to make their wish lists and begin browsing for gifts, this year is expected to be a little different. Amid ongoing supply chain issues, labor shortages and delays, the 2021 holiday shopping season is starting earlier than ever!

Here are five reasons why getting a head start on your holiday shopping is a smart move:

#1: Snag popular items before they sell out

Due to strains on the global supply chain, there's expected to be a major shortage of popular items such as electronics and gaming consoles, children's toys, sporting goods, books, home appliances, and even holiday decorations. As a result, retailers anticipate having a hard time filling their shelves, especially as the holidays draw nearer. With this in mind, it only makes sense to shop early for gifts and supplies, so you don't miss out on any must-have items on your list. 

#2: Beat the crowds

If you prefer shopping in person rather than online, your best bet is to tackle holiday errands as early as possible. This way, you can avoid the hassle of navigating crowded stores, especially on big shopping days like Black Friday. If you're hosting a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner, you can even get your grocery shopping done early and freeze certain ingredients until you need them. 

#3: Take advantage of pre-holiday sales

This year, in addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many major retailers are planning special sales in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Be on the lookout for discounts on the items you want and compare prices to find the best deals. Remember, popular products will sell out fast, so don't wait too long!

#4: Avoid shipping delays

Slower-than-usual shipping is another factor that's expected to put a wrinkle in this year's holiday shopping plans. To avoid delayed deliveries and potentially higher shipping costs, plan on placing orders weeks in advance.

#5: Prevent last-minute overspending

It's no secret that the holidays often bring additional expenses. Getting a head start on your holiday shopping will allow you to spread out the spending over several weeks instead of trying to tackle it all in a few days, which can lead to last-minute splurges.

The best way to prevent holiday overspending is to plan ahead and make a budget you can stick to. Review your current spending and think about where you can cut back to make room for holiday expenses. For example, cook a few more meals at home instead of dining out or cancel subscription services you don't use.

Once you create a holiday budget, set aside money in a high-yield savings account for gifts, décor, food and other expenses. Wright-Patt Credit Union's (WPCU) TrueSaver® savings account is a great option! 

If you plan on using a credit card for holiday shopping, make the most of your purchases with a cash back credit card, like WPCU's Platinum Rewards Credit Card. With this card, you can earn cash back on every purchase you make, everywhere you shop!

Spend Less and Enjoy More This Holiday Season!

The holiday season should be a time for celebration, not extra stress! Save money and make life a little easier by planning ahead and shopping early for all your holiday essentials.

Wright-Patt Credit Union is here to help you save, spend, borrow and plan so you can make the most of the holiday season! Stop by one of our convenient Member Centers to talk with a Financial Coach or visit our online Education Center for free budgeting worksheets, helpful videos, interactive learning modules and more!