Inflation is a Scrooge.
Although the holiday season is still months away, consumers are already worried about how they will buy gifts this year as prices continue to rise, several studies show.
About 40% of holiday shoppers said Inflation is changing the way they shopwith most trying money-saving strategies, according to a new Bankrate.com report, such as buying fewer items or cheaper brands and using coupons, discounts and credit card rewards to cover costs.
More than a half – or 59% – Americans are stressed about gift shopping this holiday season due to higher prices, a recent survey found.
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As a result, many consumers are also off to a good start. More than a tenth of people start shopping before early September, and half of holiday shoppers plan to start before Halloween, Bankrate said.
“Holiday shopping will be different this year with inflation around 40-year highs,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.
“Starting earlier can be helpful as it gives you time to spread out your cash flow and find the best deals,” he adds.
However, 65% of consumers don’t have the money to buy these, and 27% say holiday shopping puts a strain on the budget.
Another 27% also said they would go into debt gift purchases, including some who plan to use buy now, pay later for their purchases, and others who will have to pay their credit card bills over time, according to Bankrate.
“Put your plan into action right away,” said Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst at DealNews.com.
She recommends starting with your gift list and holiday budget, then tracking sales during upcoming sales events.
“It makes sense for you to go ahead and buy it as soon as you see a deal,” she said. “That will alleviate your stress as you get closer to the holiday.”
“I am also a big fan of discounts like credit cards, online shopping portals and in-store coupons,” says Rossman at Bankrate.
Money-saving expert Andrea Woroch offers four tips to help make the holidays more affordable:
- Start shopping now to spread the cost. “Just make sure you’re using a gift tracking app like Santa’s Bag, where you can keep track of what you’ve bought and who you’ve bought pre-holiday gifts and how much you’ve spent. spending Woroch said.
- If you’re done shopping, snap a quick photo of your receipt with an app like Fetch Rewards to earn good points for free gift cards at stores like Amazon, Target or Walmart Woroch suggests to offset future purchases or even as a gift. You can also refund online orders with Cently or CouponCabin.com, which have free apps and browser extensions.
- If you’re eligible, Woroch recommends signing up for a new card with a sign-up bonus or cashback. “You can earn the free money you need to save for a vacation by taking advantage of those offers,” she says. (CNBC’s Option there is a full round of Best cards for holiday shopping.)
- Find other ways to cut back. “Think about how you can reduce your monthly spending by re-evaluating your bills – chances are you’re paying for things you don’t need,” she says. Registration is a great place to start. Most people are spending more than they think on streaming services and other recurring expenses (or even pay for a subscription they no longer use).