The holiday season is officially here! (I've heard the Christmas music already) For many people, this means it's time to get the holiday shopping started, and that includes shopping online!
As you get your online holiday shopping underway (or continued if you’ve already started), here are some tips to help you make the most of your time and money!
1. Use a cash back site – This tip is one that I personally use myself. Why not earn money back just for shopping? As a member of HFS Federal Credit Union, you have access to Love My Credit Union Rewards cash back site called Love to Shop! In order to use this, you’ll need to login to your cash back site, then search for and visit the website you are shopping at through the cash back portal. Some stores even have special points offers that gives you more for each dollar you spend. This same process usually goes for other cash back sites as well, such as Ebates. You really have nothing to lose by trying out this tip!
2. Subscribe to Emails – Normally I would recommend unsubscribing from store emails to help curb overspending. However, now is the time to subscribe! If you have your eyes on items at certain stores, subscribe to their emails during the holiday season and keep an eye out for special promotional offers. Take advantage of these offers to purchase Christmas gifts while saving money in the process! If you find that you are easily tempted by email offers, plan to unsubscribe after Christmas to avoid seeing special offers when you don’t need them.
3. Use a credit card – Before I go any further with this tip, I am not suggesting that you go into debt by overspending on a credit card. You should only do this if you feel comfortable with the amount you spend and your ability to pay it off sooner rather than later. No need to go into debt for your holiday shopping if it can be helped. Now, I recommend using a credit card for a couple reasons. First, online sites can be vulnerable to hackers who are out to steal card/account information. By using a credit card, if you fall victim to fraud you are able to cancel your card and get a new one and the hacker does not get access to a physical bank account, unlike if you used a debit card and they could have access to whatever money you have in your checking at the time, plus the possibility of overdrafts and fees in this situation. Second, if your credit card provider offers you points, miles or even cash back when you spend, you are able to earn any one of those while getting your Christmas shopping done. It’s a win-win!
4. Factor in Shipping – The mail system is overwhelmed with packages during the holiday seasons, which sometimes means delays and prolonged shipping times. If you plan on getting the majority of your shopping done online, don’t wait too long! Give yourself some cushion by ordering as early as you can, just in case any of your packages get delayed. It’d be a shame if any of the gifts didn’t arrive in time for Christmas!
Hopefully these 4 tips help make holiday shopping a little less stressful for you! Feel free to share in the comments below if you have any other helpful tips!