5 Budgeting Tips for Your Holiday Shopping

Ah, the holidays. Amidst all the joy and festivities is the budget breakdown. Like many of us, you’re trying to figure out how to manage all that holiday shopping on a budget. The list seems to be never-ending while your funds are short-lived. To help, we’ve jotted down some holiday shopping budgeting tips, including for Black Friday, to make sure you don’t go overboard but still get everything you need. Check them out.

How much do people spend on Black Friday and Christmas?

According to the National Retail Federation, between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday in 2019, shoppers spent an average of $361.90 on holiday goods. Of that amount, $257.33 was spent just on gifts for the upcoming holiday. By the end of the year, shoppers were expected to spend an average of $1,047.83! People spent their hard-earned money on typical gifts – clothes, toys, electronics, books, music and movies, video games and gift cards. I don’t know about you, but that requires a big budget. Thankfully, there are ways to make your budget, no matter the size, work for you.

How to avoid overspending during the holidays

1. Plan your budget and stick to it.

The secret to shopping on a budget is making one and sticking to it. Of course we want to spoil our loved ones, but let’s be realistic. How much can you actually afford to spend on gifts? First, start by setting an overall gift budget. Then, set either a budget for each gift or each recipient. We say “or” because your life partner is probably going to get a more thoughtful gift than your child’s teacher. Lastly, track your spending to make sure you’re sticking to your budget.

2. Do your research.

You did this time and again in school; it’s time to research again. Create a list of gift recipients and while it will take time, decide what you want to buy each person before you start shopping. You can compare prices at different retailers, wait for sales, etc. If you’re anticipating a splurge, consider buying last year’s model if it’s available. Items like electronics will almost always be available as an older model for less. This may be time-consuming, but it’s one of the pro secrets when it comes to holiday shopping budget tips.


3. Make savings happen.

One of best ways to avoid overspending during the holidays is to create your own luck – or in this case, savings. Almost every online retailer will offer promo codes just for subscribing to their emails, and you can easily unsubscribe after you’ve gotten your coupon. Another option is to join loyalty rewards programs. This is ideal if you shop at that retailer often, so you can rack up shopping points and redeem them later for dollars off. Don’t forget about price matching, where it pays (literally) to shop around for the best price on a product. Of course, the most economical choice is to DIY gifts, which can be the most thoughtful gifts.

4. Shop early.

This is one of the best Black Friday shopping tips. The list you made earlier is going to come in handy now. Knowing exactly what you’re going to get (and not get on Black Friday) beforehand is key to getting the best price because you can shop early and shop around. When you shop early, you’ll get to choose from the cream of the crop and have a lesser chance of running into an “Out of Stock” alert. COVID-19 has inevitably changed the retail landscape, and holiday shopping is no exception. Whether you experience shipping delays or see earlier sales and deals, the pandemic is pushing us to change the way we shop, so make sure you prepare early.

5. Shop with Rakuten.

We’re working hard to make sure our members are confident going into the holiday shopping season, especially Black Friday. That means making this experience as joyful as possible while saving money and earning lots of Cash Back. First, make sure you a Rakuten member. Then, install our Cash Back Button browser extension, download the App and link your in-store offers – all in one easy spot

When it comes to holiday shopping budget tips, the best advice is to create a plan of attack and execute. There are plenty of ways to get the biggest bang for your buck as long as you’re willing to put a little elbow grease into it. Happy shopping!

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