Now that the back-to-school season is coming to an official close, it’s time to start thinking about the winter holidays. No? Too soon? Believe it or not, it’s never too soon to start planning for the holiday season. For example, if you started saving just $20 a week back in January until Thanksgiving, you would have saved $920 for holiday shopping (watch a quick video on this specific holiday savings plan for more details).
Even if you didn’t start saving that far in advance, it’s not too late to get a jumpstart on your holiday budgeting. By planning in advance, you will avoid digging yourself deeper into credit card debt by having more time to save, shop around for the best deals, prepare for bills in the new year, and most importantly you will remain organized and stress free. Take advantage of Columbus Day sales to get your holiday shopping plan in motion.
Before you hit the stores on Columbus Day, take some time to think about the holiday season. Start by creating a realistic list of who you plan to buy gifts for and write down any ideas you might have of what to give them. Download ACCC’s Holiday Shopping Checklist to help you stay organized and keep track of your progress and spending.
It’s also a good time to start thinking about your overall holiday budget. Will you be hosting a holiday party or dinner? What will you bring to the parties you plan to attend? Will you need a new outfit? Will you be travelling? As many expenses as you can possibly think of, write them down. Use ACCC’s Holiday Budget Worksheet to help you get started.
Now that you have an idea of what you will need to buy, take advantage of Columbus Day sales and deals. Many of the sales going on over Columbus Day weekend are comparable to those of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, especially on clothing, shoes, accessories, and home décor. It is also likely that there will be a greater selection of merchandise available than there will be on Black Friday. Plus, there will be significantly less crowds, lines, and frustration.
You can also do some research on any big-ticket items that you plan to purchase. Research when prices are historically lowest and if any Black Friday deals have been leaked online to determine if Columbus Day is the best time to make your purchase.
For a complete list of sales, check out Deals Plus.
For more help planning and budgeting for the holidays, visit ACCC’s Holiday Budgeting Center.
Participate in this month’s poll question: Were Your Student Loans Worth It?