Savvy Sale Tips to Save Year-Round

Every December, like clockwork, consumers are torn between their budgets and sentimentality. The pressure of the holidays and the sense of urgency that the end of the year brings can often lead to impulsive purchases, overspending and credit card debt.

This holiday season, consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,463 and retail executives anticipate shoppers will spend 73% more or significantly more on holiday gifts than previous years. While it’s easy to get swept up in the holiday hustle and bustle and overspend, there are a variety of strategies you can leverage to preserve your financial health and maximize savings year-round. Planning ahead and waiting for the best sales can help you snag great holiday gifts and still protect the annual budget you worked so hard to maintain. Read on for helpful spending tips and tricks.

Set holiday spending limits and stick to them

Creating a plan is the first step in successfully navigating savvy holiday spending. Start by evaluating your finances and creating a realistic budget. FirstBank’s Money Manager tool allows users to create budgets, set financial goals, monitor spending activity, track expenses and more. To help determine your spending budget, focus on how you want your finances to look in January. Once you have a number to work with, you can shop accordingly. 

Shopping for friends and family can feel like the wild west sometimes. Avoid second-guessing appropriate gift amounts by proposing mutual spending limits. Keeping gifts below a certain dollar amount helps both your budget and saves time.

Take advantage of holiday sales

Holiday sales might add to your shopping impulses, but they are also a great way to support small, Black-owned and women-owned businesses and secure key savings if you stick to your spending plan.

Black Friday

According to a recent holiday retail survey, shoppers save an average of 37% on Black Friday. When you shop on the day after Thanksgiving, you can save big on electronics, appliances, toys, shoes and more.

Small Business Saturday

Don’t forget to support local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Many small businesses offer discounts, making it a great day to purchase homemade apparel, jewelry, homeware and artisan goods.

Cyber Monday

A great time to shop and save from the comfort of your home, Cyber Monday offers great online shopping deals, especially in the technology, clothes and travel categories. In fact, Cyber Monday might be the best day of the year for shopping deals. In 2020, Cyber Monday spending was greater than Black Friday ($10.8 billion compared to $9 billion).

Shop in advance for seasonal items

With a little planning and organization, shopping a year ahead can help you save big. If you have room in your budget, take advantage of end-of-season sales throughout the year to snag items at steep discounts. Adult and child clothing, toys and seasonal items and decor are popular categories to shop in advance at a discount. Remember to log these items so you don’t forget to gift or use them in the future.

Automate your savings with tech

Shopping online comes with a plethora of perks — convenience, swift delivery and a slew of promo codes that can help you save. Leverage relevant browser extensions to make sure you’re always getting the best online deal. Various tools such as Popcart, RetailMeNot, and Honey automatically scour the web for coupon codes and price matching in an effort to deliver the best price possible. It’s worth doing your own research and finding savings tools that work for you. FirstBank is not affiliated with any of the above companies.

Give priceless gifts that cost nothing

Regardless of the size of your budget, giving gifts with low or no monetary value can be priceless. Give the gift of time, such as babysitting for new parents.

Sharing your skills and talents is another cost-effective way to give. Consider preparing a home-cooked meal, giving music or photography lessons, or crafting something unique, such as candles, art or furniture.

Save year-round

While there are many deals to be had during the holiday season, there are also prime times to save throughout the year to help spread out gift spending. In addition to discounted offers, popular holiday sales usually include other perks, such as free shipping and customer rewards. Here are popular sale times for strategic spending:

Presidents Day

Wait until the long weekend in February for deals on mattresses, appliances and furniture.

Memorial Day

Kickoff the unofficial start of summer with discounts on furniture, home decor, tools, summer fashion, camping equipment and outdoor gear.

Fourth of July

Save your major furniture and decor purchases for Independence Day to take advantage of significant discounts.

Labor Day

Between the start of a new school year and retailers preparing for fall, the end of summer is a strategic time to stock up on discounted school supplies, tech, clothing and appliances. 

Give yourself the gift of financial wellness this holiday season so you can ring in the New Year without a mountain of credit card debt. Planning, setting spending limits, giving creatively, shopping around and taking advantage of deals will help you deliver gifts to everyone on your list without breaking the bank.

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