With less than 90 days to go until the winter gift season, some holiday shoppers are starting sooner rather than later.
Half of winter holiday shoppers plan to start shopping before Halloween this year, according to a September Bankrate Survey. About 38% plan to start shopping in November.
Although about 12% of shoppers plan to wait until December to do their holiday shopping, getting a head start can provide additional time to plan and find the best deals.
“This will allow plenty of time to shop around for discounts, set aside money for your shopping list, and do some comparison shopping,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told CNBC Make It.
“In today’s inflationary economy, really any discount you can take advantage of will make a difference in your budget,” he adds.
And those Christmas discounts will also come sooner.
Target is introducing its holiday savings sooner than ever, according to a september ad. Target’s “Sale Days” are scheduled to begin October 6-8, and budget-conscious shoppers will be able to find plenty of discounts online and in-store.
Additionally, Amazon is holding a “Early Access Sale” for Prime members on October 11 and 12. This is the first time the e-commerce giant has held two Prime Day-like sale events in one year.
While Walmart hasn’t announced when exactly its holiday discounts will begin, the retailer plans to “offer thousands more reversals this holiday to provide even greater savings on the most popular gifts, including toys, home, electronics, beauty and more,” according to Walmart. a september press release.
In 2021, supply chain issues and delayed shipments prompted consumers to start their holiday shopping early due to fears of shortages of some of the season’s most popular gifts.
In 2022, however, inflation is the main force driving consumers to boost their purchases.
“Holiday shopping will look different this year with inflation near 40-year highs,” says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com. “Consumers are still spending, but they are being especially careful about where each dollar goes.”
In fact, about 84% of Bankrate respondents say they are taking steps to lower the cost of their holiday shopping by taking advantage of coupons and discounts and buying fewer items.
Even before you start spending money, simply starting your shopping plan early can help your budget go further.
“Assuming you get paid twice a month, you’ll probably have seven paydays left this year. Setting aside money on each one will go a long way toward avoiding the dreaded Christmas debt hangover in January,” Rossman explains.
Using a rewards credit card for holiday shopping can also be a smart way to earn points or cash back, as long as you can pay off your balance in full and avoid interest charges, both Rossman and Gonzalez say.
Regardless of when you start, don’t wait until the last minute if you’re a vacation shopper on a budget, Gonzalez advises.
“Not only does this ensure you’ll take advantage of the best deals, but it will also help you avoid overspending and impulse buying,” says Gonzalez.
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