Don’t look now, but the 2020 holiday season is only a few more months from officially beginning – and with COVID-19 likely to continue at least into the late fall and early winter, it’s bound to be a holiday season unlike any other we’ve experienced.
This is especially true when you couple this with the economic fallout from the pandemic, as a recent study published on CNBC says that more than 60 percent of Americans are due to run out of savings before the end of the year without any additional government stimulus. Keep in mind that last year, the average American accrued more than $1,000 in holiday debt and nearly 80 percent was unable to pay off this debt in January.
So what can you do to ensure you have enough tucked away to still give your family a great Christmas? We have some tips and suggestions for getting a head start on this year’s holiday season:
Start Saving Now
While this may seem like an obvious strategy, you’d be surprised by how many people don’t come up with any sort of a budget and then just swipe away with their credit card. We shouldn’t need to tell you that this isn’t a great idea. Now’s the time to make arrangements and start tucking away extra cash from your paycheck. If your budget is tight this year, consider temporarily eliminating certain non-essential services (i.e., cable TV, streaming services, etc.) to be able to adequately purchase gifts this holiday season.
Get a 0 Percent APR Card
If you don’t have the money stowed away to purchase gifts for everyone on your shopping list this year, there’s a sensible to way to do it without plunging yourself into debt. You can charge it, but you can do it smartly with a 0 percent APR credit card. These promotional credit cards are ideal to apply for when you know you need to fund a larger purchase, but don’t want to pay the obscene interest fees if you’re unable to immediately pay off your debt. Most of these promotional cards won’t charge interest for at least up to a year. The only catch is that you’ll need good to exceptional credit to get approved for one.
Get Creative with Coupons, Rewards
Whether they’re digital or paper, coupons are still a thing – and you can still save a significant amount of money by using them on certain purchases. If you’re buying holiday gifts in store, pay attention to the ads that are mailed to your home or the Sunday newspaper. And if you’re doing your shopping online, be sure to Google any coupons for the outlet you’re shopping at. You can even add a free browser extension, such as Honey or Rakuten, that will scan the Internet for applicable coupons. The holidays are also a great time to cash in any credit card rewards or loyalty accounts you have open to help make the holidays more affordable.