The holiday season is shaping up to be a wild ride due to pandemic constraints causing shortages of labor and goods, which is driving prices up.
It’s common for credit card debt to rise this time of year and one non-profit credit counseling agency warns that pent-up consumer demand coupled with low credit use may lead to overspending.
“Luckily, there are ways to counteract stress-inducing tasks like holiday shopping. We recommend developing a carefully crafted holiday spending plan and incorporating it into your budget,” said April Lewis-Parks director of education and communications for the non-profit Consolidated Credit in a news release. “Once you have your spending plan set, you can take advantage of Thanksgiving weekend deals,” she continued.
Top Tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Map out the driving route that brings you to the stores where the items will likely sell out first. This way you can ensure you don’t miss out on your must-haves and make sure your shopping route does not require you to drive back and forth to find the best deals.
- Minimize debt and interest charges. Just like shipping costs on a heavy item can offset a great deal when you’re shopping online, interest charges can do the same thing to those deals if you put purchases on a credit card. Cash or debit cards are king.
- If you have multiple offers from a single store, make sure they can stack. Some stores only let you apply one coupon code per order or product. Otherwise, make sure to use offers that maximize your savings.
- Pay attention to member exclusive deals. For example, Walmart is offering its paying Walmart+ members early access to online Black Friday events four hours earlier.
- Write down or save coupon codes in the Notes App on your smartphone. You can also use an app like Honey to save coupons on your phone or use their desktop browser extension, which searches for coupon codes on the site where you shop.
- Signup for email alerts and follow your favorite retailers on social media today. You’ll stay ahead of the curve and may get exclusive offers.
- Keep your receipts in case retailers offer after-holiday price matching. This is where the retailer will refund the difference of an item purchased before the holidays if the price drops lower after the holidays are over.
Source: Consolidated Credit