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Top Money-Saving Tips for Holiday Shopping

'Tis the season for shopping, spending and spreading holiday cheer! The downside is that due to ongoing inflation and supply chain issues, prices for holiday gifts, food, travel and decorations may be a little higher than usual. Are you looking for ways to save money and avoid getting wrapped up in holiday debt? Check out these savvy holiday shopping tips:

#1: Make your list (and check it twice!)

Between family, friends, co-workers and more, buying gifts for everyone you know can be time-consuming and expensive. This year, why not trim your gift-giving list to save time and money? This could mean only buying gifts for the children in your family instead of including adults, or setting up a fun gift exchange rather than buying multiple presents for each person. If you choose to limit your list to just immediate family members, you can still send cards or bake treats for friends, neighbors and other important people in your life.

#2: Shop early

Pre-holiday sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer a smart way to get a head start on your shopping while saving some money. If you're looking for a specific item, be sure to research different retailers and compare prices to find the best possible deals. Some popular stores even offer price-match guarantees, so you can make fewer trips and save gas money.

#3: Give the gift of experiences

Experiences create memories that will be treasured long after all the presents are unwrapped. From kids to grandparents, there are budget-friendly options for all ages when you think outside the gift box. Maybe it's a family membership to the zoo or aquarium, cooking lessons or a special date with your significant other. Spending quality time together is priceless!

#4: Start planning and saving for next year

The earlier you can save up for big expenses, the better. One tip is to set aside money each month in a secondary savings account for holiday spending, starting at the beginning of the year. Another idea is to buy gifts throughout the year, especially when you see items on sale. If you plan to use a credit card for holiday shopping and pay off your balance each month, consider a credit card with cash-back rewards to use towards other purchases. By giving yourself plenty of time to save money or spread out your spending, you can enjoy the holiday season with less stress!

Ready for more tools and resources to help you manage inflation and your money? Get more tips here or schedule an appointment with one of our friendly financial coaches at your nearest WPCU member center.​​