Is it just us, or does the 2022 holiday shopping season feel a little uncertain? For many shoppers, COVID concerns have been replaced by fresh worries over inflation and cost of living increases. But don’t get your gift wrap ribbons in a tangle – these tips from Royal Credit Union can help you spend less and reduce stress while navigating the 2022 holiday season.
Start Early, Spread It Out
One way that consumers are hoping to beat inflation is by shopping earlier in the 2022 holiday season. A recent Bankrate survey found that half of holiday shoppers plan to start buying gifts in October this year, and we think that’s a good thing! By starting your shopping early, you’re able to spread out your spending over a longer period of time. This could allow you to spend a smaller percentage of each paycheck on holiday gifts and put less of a squeeze on your year-end budget.
Retailers are also prepared for early holiday shoppers in 2022. Many large retailers reacted to the supply chain disruptions of previous years by having 2022 holiday inventory arrive earlier in the season. Expect to see stores getting on board with the early shopping trend by offering exclusive savings and discounts starting in October and early November with events like Amazon’s upcoming 2022 Fall Prime Day. Retailers are also expected to downplay single shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday in favor of multiple days of sales. These longer-term promotions could give shoppers the opportunity to strategically compare prices and stack savings when grabbing the best deals.
Skip The Credit Options If You Can
Using a credit card or buy now-pay later option might seem like a good way to further spread out your holiday shopping expenses. But keep in mind that many of these spending tools come with
additional costs, like credit card interest charges. There can also be unseen costs, such as negative impacts to your credit score if you miss a payment or take out several buy now-pay later loans that are reported to credit agencies.
Responsibly using a rewards credit card can be a good way to earn cash back or added bonuses, especially if you’re able to layer it with an in-store sale. However, you’ll want to be smart about budgeting for payments to make sure you’re not left with a post-holiday spending hangover.
Deliberate Gifting & Cutting Back In Other Areas
We love the idea of deliberate gifting, where the giver chooses a thoughtful, practical gift that they know the recipient will appreciate instead of a silly item or just-for-laughs present. Cozy socks, a low-cost event or experience, or homemade crafts are great deliberate gifting items that can delight their recipients.
With rising living costs, many consumers are also choosing to skip everyday indulgences. These little luxuries could be great gift ideas for someone on your list! For the 2022 holiday shopping season we expect to see plenty of deals attracting shoppers to the luxuries they might have chosen to skip, like beauty and cosmetic items or food-based treats like chocolate, coffee, or drinks. These could be the perfect stocking stuffers or last-minute gift items to show your appreciation without breaking the bank.
At the same time, you might be able to cut back your own budget in other areas to free up additional spending power. Review your monthly bills and see if you’re paying for anything you don’t need. Maybe you could cancel your music or video streaming service for a few months or try cooking meatless dinners at home once a week. You might also be able to trim your current energy expenses. Turning on your TV’s eco mode, closing the heat vents in unused rooms, or taking shorter showers are all small steps that can add up to real savings every month.
Above All, Skip The Stress
By starting early, spending responsibly, and being mindful about gift-giving, you can enjoy the 2022 holiday season without the added stress that comes with overspending or stretching your budget too far. Making smart spending decisions and avoiding excessive debt during your 2022 holiday shopping season will keep you from feeling extra financial pressure during this time of the year. Put these holiday shopping tips into practice and enjoy a happier holiday in 2022!