Even if you follow a carefully crafted budget for the whole year, the holiday season can leave your finances in shambles. Most of us tend to overspend once the holiday season rolls around. With all the food, gifts, and general merriment surrounding the season, it's hard not to open your wallet on more than one unplanned occasion. But there is a solution: start your holiday savings and shopping ASAP. While most people spend their summer enjoying the outdoors, vacationing in new places, and relaxing on their days off, you'll be saving money! Read why the smartest shoppers start searching for holiday gifts in the summer.
1. No Crowds
Sure, Black Friday is a fun event for many -- but if you're like the majority of Americans, you'd rather avoid crazy crowds. During the summer, no one is rushing out to buy the trendiest items. That means you can get your shopping done at your leisure.
Early holiday shopping also means:
- More parking spaces likely at the mall
- Fewer lines that can make you late to work when you shop on your lunch break
- Less waiting for retail sales assistants to help you
2. Extra Time Means Less Pressure
When you start early, there's tons of extra time to find the perfect gift for each of your loved ones. And there's a much lower chance of finding that perfect gift with a big SOLD OUT sign on the shelf.
Have you ever gone shopping in December and tried to find the season's most popular toy? Chances are, you won't get one. Everyone else is looking for it, too. When you do your shopping ahead of time, though, you face less competition. You can find the in-demand items ahead of everyone else.
Getting everything on your list when you start Christmas shopping early will make your family happy, and it will cause you less stress. Plus, when you have time to go over your list, you won't accidentally forget anyone. There is nothing worse than realizing you didn't get a gift for someone you love just because you ran out of time.
3. Sales With Less Competition
When a store posts a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale, you may get a reasonable price on an item, but you also have to compete with lots of other people to get it.
By shopping in the summer, you can get deals that are often better than later in the year. Stores know people will come in for the holidays. In the summer, they want to lure people in when they have less reason to shop, so they may offer even bigger price decreases.
You may find the best sales in small stores. Family-owned businesses could provide discounts big-box retailers don't. They can also work with you to find the items you want, offering more personal attention.
How to Avoid Overspending on Holiday Shopping
Wondering what else you can do to save money on your holiday gifts, even if you get them in the summer when prices are lower?
- Save any extra money: Start putting away whatever extra you find at the end of each month after all bills are paid and regular savings are contributed to. The money you would ordinarily count toward entertainment, snacks and general non-essentials should be placed into its very own category called holiday savings. Remember: while you may feel disappointed at the end of each month that you aren't able to use this extra cash on your usual instant gratification purchases, you will be so excited about it once the holidays come.
- See if you can cut expenses elsewhere: Check and see if you've recently increased the amount you spend on any other categories in your budget. Maybe you've allocated more toward new subscription services, a larger data plan, or even a few more bucks into your actual savings account after each paycheck. Cutting from these will not harm your finances because they were bonus to begin with, and that money placed into holiday savings will be used for even greater enjoyment when the time comes to spend it.
- Think about reducing your gift list: Perhaps you can do a gift exchange at the office where everyone picks a name instead of buying everyone presents. Ask your extended family to enjoy an experience together, such as a trip to the zoo or even a concert instead of purchasing individual gifts. Your relatives will remember those special moments long after they'd remember, say, a new candle.
- Skip the huge gifts: While you may enjoy getting the people you love over-the-top presents that make them squeal in surprise, you can make just as significant an impact by giving your gift more thought and using restraint. When you purchase less-expensive gifts, you stick to your budget and enjoy an opportunity to exercise creativity. Give a child a card to get out of a chore. Offer a cousin a free night of babysitting.
- Don't let debt accumulate: When you get rid of outstanding debt, you can free up more money for the holidays. If you don't have high credit card bills to pay off, for example, you can put more of your paycheck toward buying new gifts. Making consistent, on-time payments also builds up your credit — a side benefit to paying down debt before Christmas.
- See if you can find a way to make some extra money each month: Whether that means taking on some odd jobs on the side or selling items you no longer need, any money you can contribute to your holiday savings will be more you can use to make the season even more memorable.
Purchase the Gifts You Want With a Personal Loan From Atlas Credit
Say there's something you really want to buy your significant other for the holidays, but it's going to cost you more than you have on hand. That's where a personal loan from Atlas Credit comes in -- not only can you get a loan up to $1,400 even with bad credit, but you'll also have plenty of time to pay the loan off with our easy 5 to 12-month repayment plans!
So, if you want to start your holiday shopping this summer, give yourself the gift of extra cash to make this year's presents extra special. Apply for a personal loan online or in person at one of our locations in Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas today and find out how you can make this year's holiday season better than ever. Our representatives can assist you with filling out an application and answer any of your personal loan questions.