How I’m adjusting my holiday shopping in an uncertain economy

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While fall is my favorite season, winter has all my favorite holidays. I look forward to the cooler weather, the Christmas tree hunt, the cookie decorating, and yes, even the gift shopping. While I’d love to get wrapped up in the seasonal extravaganza, I’ve also been paying attention to rising inflation, shipping delays, the increasing tendency for companies to pre-order, and smaller releases that may or may not restock later. . .

So while I normally wouldn’t think about shopping until November, packing all my goodies into one or two well-planned trips, I couldn’t risk starting that late. And I’m not alone. In fact, 40% of people were with me, adjusting their timeline, according to a recent bankrate survey. With the unpredictability of the past few months, I refused to be the person fighting for the latest toy in the store aisle. So, I’m making my list, double-checking it, and preparing my schedule.

Here’s what I’m doing to adjust my vacation spending for the 2022 holiday season.

i’m starting early

Like many others, I decided start my christmas shopping early—mid-October, actually. This was helped by the fact that she had been creating a gift list all year, so she knew what she wanted to get by when fall began. She also knew what to get first. If someone wants a book or a scarf, it will be much easier to get it during a Black Friday sale than a personalized gift like engraved jewelry or personalized clothing. This just took a lot of stress off of me.

Another thing that has helped a lot is the 0% APR introductory offer on my card. For my card, it lasts 15 months, and there are other cards that offer even longer intro APR periods. While interest may seem like a small thing at first, it is what is affected the most by increases in inflation. By using this feature, this will not only cover all my vacation expenses, but also give me time to recover once the Christmas lights are down.

Suggested Card: Citi Custom Cash Card

With a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then a variable APR of 17.74% to 27.74%), the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card it gives you plenty of time to pay off your balance without interest. You also get 5% cash back on your highest spending category (up to $500, then 1%), so no matter how you shop, you can be rewarded. Be sure to compare your options when choose an introductory 0% APR card to find the best one for your needs.

i’m buying sales

I’m sure I’m not the only one hearing mentions of “Black Friday sales all month long” in commercials, nor am I the only one paying attention. What used to be limited to a single day or even a weekend has now been expanded to sales throughout November. Remember all those gifts I said are so much easier to get? I buy them now while they are 20 to 50% off.

Even better, advantages like amex deals either chase deals often offer 1% to 10% cash back on popular brands like Adidas, H&M, local restaurants, and more, making it easy maximize reimbursement while I shop. These deals can last for a month or more, giving me time to buy exactly what I want. Check your credit card to see if these bonuses are offered for a chance to win more

Suggested card: Amex Blue Cash Everyday

With the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Cardyou not only get 1-10% cash back on popular brands when you use Amex deals, but you also get 3% cash back when you shop online at US retailers. It’s all savings without the hassle .

I’m looking for hidden discounts online

Imagine my surprise when I found out that there are many discounts for certain brands or products that are not displayed on the website when you shop. Unknowingly, there may be a hidden sale on some products or, if I’m lucky, the entire site. For brands I shop frequently, this may mean signing up for email newsletters or keeping an eye on social media pages, as they tend to announce sales there first, including those on the horizon.

Another thing that has been very useful are tools like Shopping at Capital One, which automatically checks for coupons and savings when I shop online, my favorite way to shop. Finally, someone else can cut up the coupon and double check it, while I debate whether I really need that extra pair of socks.

Suggested card: Capital One Venture Rewards

the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card it’s one of Bankrate’s highest-rated cards for a reason. It gives you double miles on everyday purchases and access to Capital One Shopping, which will show you all the discounts available wherever you shop online. You’ll also earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, helping you earn more on the vacation you’ll need once the busy season is over.

I buy with my points on Amazon

Could anyone say that I buy too much from Amazon based on the boxes piling up in my recycling? Possibly. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s really convenient and I can use my cash back right in the app with the Shop with Amazon Prime points feature. this is one of many ways to shop on amazon with credit cards.

I’ll be honest. Compared to other cash back redemption methods, Shop with Points is definitely not the best. You usually get the lowest value when redeeming this way. But for me, it works really well, especially when I consider how much I buy on Amazon. My cash back is easy to redeem and I receive most of my gifts and decorations in less than a week, a win-win situation.

Suggested card: Discover it Cash Back

The many advantages of Discover it® Cash Back make it one of the best rotating category cards in the market, from its Cashback Match welcome offer that doubles the cash back you earn in your first year to the announcement of its 5% bonus categories (activation required) early so you can plan accordingly.

For me, the 5% cash back on Amazon.com and digital wallets now through the end of December along with 1:1 redemption at Amazon’s Shop with Points makes this a useful shopping tool.

The bottom line

When I think about the changes I’ve made to my shopping habits, it doesn’t feel as monumental as I thought it would. While it’s awkward to be looking for Christmas gifts while Halloween candy is still available, I love saving both money (by maxing out my credit card) and time.

So this year, I won’t have to spend that precious week before Christmas behind my computer or running around a store too stressed to think about maximize my rewards. I’ll be chilling at home, watching a cheesy holiday movie.

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