Five Ways to Take Control of Your Pandemic Holiday Spending

Welcome to the holiday whirlwind…amid a raging pandemic! Everyone is busy finishing their work for the year, shopping (online) and preparing for the most wonderful time of the year. In the madness and excitement of it all, it is easy to overspend. 

Here are five tips to keep your holiday spending under control and save money for the next year:

  1. 1. Create a Budget for the Holidays

    Shoppers plan to spend an average of $851 on gifts alone for this holiday season. Make spending less than the national average your goal. You must set a total budget and figure out how and what to spend overall. Save the wish list on your smartphone, then track your spending every time you are buying a gift. You can even redistribute your travel money to increase your gift budget.

    "Budget" spelled out in multiple white papers.
  2. 2. Go for Gift Cards

    There is no more stigma associated with giving gift cards during the holiday season. In fact, according to the National Retail Foundation, gift cards have been #1 on shoppers’ wish list since 2018. It is quick and easy to get either a physical or electronic gift card for your friends and family – a perfect idea for last-minute shoppers. You no longer waste time on guesswork and can avoid overspending on gifts that are impractical or not to a receiver’s liking.    

    stack of gift cards
  3. 3. Try a Homemade Treat

    It is the thought that counts. You can roll up your sleeves to make some gifts for either your five-year-old nieces or your eighty-year-old grandparents. The Spruce Crafts has a wonderful compilation of 100 inexpensive ideas for DIY homemade gifts. If you or your friends and family members have a sweet tooth, Tasty and Country Living offer a wide variety of holiday goodies. Who doesn’t love the spiciness of coated nuts or the sweetness of cinnamon hard candies?

    food network kitchen
  4. 4. Don't Be Swayed by the Hysteria of Online Shopping

    As the pandemic is raging, going online is undeniably the safest and most logical choice of holiday shopping. However, it is easy to get distracted by the huge amount of deals and products offered by different brands and make money mistakes. Remind yourself to focus on what matters the most. Check delivery dates before buying to ensure your gifts arrive on time. Avoid expedited shipping. If your favorite brands do not offer on-time delivery, try a new one. 46 percent of US consumers have switched brands during the pandemic so there is no need to feel guilty of not supporting your favorite brands or retailers in hard times.

    close up of magazine with furniture
  5. 5. Bundle Your Gifts

    49 percent of U.S. consumers plan to send gifts to friends and family whom they will not be seeing this holiday season. Shipping fees might rack up your spending. Therefore, putting several small gifts into a big box to send to people who live close to each other and asking them to distribute your gifts is an economical option.

Let us all be smart about holiday spending and have a happy holiday season!