Financial Education Blog

Last-minute holiday shopping tips

According to the National Retail Federation, 60 percent of holiday shoppers planned to begin their shopping in November. In case you’re not part of that statistic, here are a few helpful tips to wrapping up your shopping without going way over budget.

Have a plan
Just because you’re shopping last minute doesn’t mean you should go in unprepared. Take a few minutes to look at the whole picture: who do you have to buy for, what kind of gift are you looking for, and how much do you want to spend. Having this plan in writing can save you from last-minute panic and overspending. Make sure to check back on the list as well as your spending plan to assure that you’re staying on target.

Promo Codes
If online shopping is included, then do a quick online search for promo code discounts. Sites like Retailmenot.com have a storehouse of available codes with updated data on whether they are still active. You can also go directly to the site you plan to shop from to see what their daily or weekly promotions are. Signed up for rewards programs with those online stores? Scan your email to see if they have sent any deals your way.

Use credit cards with rewards
If you’re spending money, you might as well earn a little bit back for yourself, right? There are a lot of great rewards cards out there that offer some great perks. 7 17’s Visa Platinum Rewards Credit Card offers the ScoreCard® Rewards program, which gives you one ScoreCard point for every dollar spent. ScoreCard points are redeemable toward 1% cash back, gift cards, travel discounts and brand-name merchandise.

If you have some points accumulated, take a look at what is available to redeem them for in terms of gifts. You might be able to cross a few names off of your shopping list.
 
Use discount apps
Many retail stores offer reward apps that can give you points for purchases, in-store discounts, coupons and cash back. You can increase your cash-back earnings by using apps like Ibotta, which offers cash back at various national retailers both in-store and online. It’s a great way to bank some money and make future shopping trips a little easier on the wallet.

Look for free shipping
Always go for the free shipping. The cutoff for free shipping with delivery before Christmas is soon, so try to take advantage of it while you can. Some stores also offer free delivery to their brick and mortar retail stores, which can also be a convenient option. If worse comes to worst, and your gift won’t arrive until after Christmas with the free shipping, print an image of the item you purchased and put it in a Christmas card for the intended recipient.

Resist the temptation
It’s easier said than done, especially when there are so many deals available, but keep the focus on shopping for everyone else. It will save you time, and it will save you money. If you really want to snag something for yourself, there are usually some pretty great deals after Christmas or in the New Year.