14 Easy Ways To Start Saving For Holiday Shopping Now
Coming out of summer might seem a little too early to start saving for Holiday shopping. However, to avoid overspending and stressing yourself out by rushing around for last minute gifts when money is tight, why not start now?
Take control of your money before the Holidays to be prepared this year.
Whether it’s earning some extra money or saving cash through smarter spending, there are plenty of easy ways to make this Holiday shopping season better you (and your gift recipients).
1.) Start Saving Now With A New Account
As we alluded to in the opening, the best way to save for Holiday shopping is to start now. It’s never too early to put aside that extra $10 or $20 to get the savings started.
Open up a new high-interest savings account to keep your Holiday funds separate.
Wealthsimple is currently offering a 1.95% interest rate with their Smart Savings accounts. This includes the 0.25% fee built-in so what you see is what you get with 1.95%. No hidden fees, no minimums and no withdrawal penalties.
You won’t earn life changing returns on your Holiday savings account but free money is never a bad thing.
2.) Make A Budget
Now that you’ve started, the next easy way to save for Holiday shopping is to make a budget. Go back into your bank and credit card statements from last year’s Holiday gifting.
What did you spend? Has anything changed this year that would shift that spending? Based on your current income and savings rate (income – expenses / income), how much can you comfortably afford?
This is a unique number that will differ for everyone based a collection of factors. Find out your Holiday spending budget, write it down and stick to it.
3.) Build A Savings Schedule & Automate
Based on your budget you can now build a savings schedule to workback towards getting to that total.
For example, let’s say you need $750 to cover all Holiday gifting needs. From September 6th to December 20th there are 15 weeks. Therefore you’d need to save $50 a week to stay within budget (or approx. $100 per pay cheque). You’ve now got your savings schedule and can automate transfers from your bank account to your new Holiday savings account.
As we’ll explore below there are a collection of ways to make and save more money so you don’t even have to touch your normal income for Holiday shopping.
4.) Get Free Cash Back On Your Purchases
Given you’re going to be purchasing gifts for friends, family and loved ones, why not make some free money back on those?
Ebates is a premier cash back digital platform giving you free money back on your everyday purchases. Ebates has affiliations with almost every major retailer (2,500+ stores and counting) including Amazon, eBay, Indigo, GroupOn, Expedia, etc.
No tricks, no fees. You purchase, earn 1% – 40$ cash back and then get paid via PayPal, cheque or gift card.
5.) Answer Paid Survey Sites In Your Spare Time
Whether you’re on your commute, relaxing on a lunch break or hanging out at home during down time, you can make some free money through paid survey sites.
Some of these websites include a free sign-up bonus to help expedite Holiday saving:
- Swagbucks – $5 Free Bonus: Swagbucks is one of the most popular digital rewards platforms. You can generate PayPal cash by answering surveys, playing videos or any of 7+ more ways to earn rewards. Plus you get a free $5 bonus when you sign up. Check out my full review on Swagbucks here.
- InboxDollars – $5 Free Bonus: Inbox Dollars is an American site that offers free cash rewards for watching TV, taking surveys, or making purchases online. Best of all InboxDollars offers a free $5 welcome bonus offer once you register.
- PineCone Research – $3 Per Survey: PineCone Research is one of the most popular and rewarding survey websites that provides their users with $3 per survey completed. After you’re ready to cash out, your money will be sent directly via cash or to your PayPal account.
- SurveyJunkie – High Volume of Surveys: Survey Junkie is another one of the most popular and highest rated free survey websites. When you’re ready to cash out, you can get paid via PayPal or gift cards.
- Daily Rewards (Canada) – $5 Free Bonus: DailyRewards is the Canadian counterpart to Inbox Dollars mentioned above. You’ll be rewarded for watching TV, taking surveys, or making purchases online. They offer a free $5 welcome bonus offer for signing up and your pay outs are made via cash or gift card.
6.) Start A Side Hustle
One of the most profitable ways to start saving for Holiday shopping now is to start a side hustle. Based on your skills, experience, time and effort you can leverage side hustles outside your 9-5 work to make more money.
Want some side hustle ideas? Here are 35+ rewarding side hustles (almost) anyone can do to earn more money.
The best part of starting a side hustle is you can carry this forward after the Holiday. Diversifying your income and growing your earnings will help support all your financial goals.
7.) Search & Track Digital Coupons
Take advantage of digital coupon directories to get the best bang for your buck when Holiday shopping.
These digital coupons can unlock hundreds of dollars in savings towards your gift purchases. Track and monitor the offers to ensure you’re getting the best price.
Below are four great services that offer digital coupons:
- Swagbucks: with Swagbucks there are over 9+ ways to earn free cash online. In addition to those rewards, they also offer an extensive library of coupons. They’re constantly updating the offers to provide new savings opportunities. Sign up for Swagbucks today to earn a FREE bonus $5!
- Ebates: as noted above, Ebates is a great cash back platform. However, they also offer thousands of coupons to leading retailers. You get a free welcome sign up bonus after registering (Americans get $10 free and Canadians get $5 free).
- BeFrugal: BeFrugal is another cash back platform to help you earn free money back on your online shopping purchases. BeFrugal has relationships with over 5,000 retailers plus thousands of other coupons and special promotions to help you earn and save. Sign up today to get a FREE $10 welcome bonus and start earning cash back.
- Honey: Honey is another great free digital rewards platform that searches the internet for the best deals and coupons from their list of over 3,700 partner stores! With Honey you can make sure you’ll never miss a coupon or chance to save money at literally every online store that you might normally be shopping at.
8.) Gift Cards On Discount Or Earning Cash Back
Gift cards provide great opportunities to support your Holiday shopping savings (and earning) mission.
Thankfully, there are platforms to purchase them on discount. You can then buy them and use them to purchase gifts from that store to then re-gift those. Or you can buy the discounted gift cards and gift it directly to the intended recipient.
Either way, you’re saving money.
So where can you get access to discounted gift cards? The two best sources are:
- Cardpool: Cardpool is a great service to get access to discounted gift cards at up to 35% off. They carry cards from almost every retailer and service imaginable. Sign up for free today!
- Gift Card Granny: Gift Card Granny is similar to Cardpool with an extensive library of discounted gift cards ranging up to 50% off. From Nike to Best Buy and everything in between. They have daily deals, special offers and are always updating to feature new retailers. It’s free and simple to register!
Another opportunity to boost your Holiday savings is to earn cash back on your gift card purchases through the services we’ve already mentioned. Both Swagbucks and Ebates (Americans | Canadians) give members cash back on gift card purchases.
9.) Hold Out For Black Friday & Cyber Monday
The annual shopping craze that takes over North America: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In terms of deals, these are two dates that provide major savings opportunities.
With their proximity to the coming Holidays in December, you can best deploy your Holiday savings fund you’ve been building for gift purchasing on these days to get the best bang for your buck.
Sign up the email newsletters for the potential stores that fit your gift ideas. Compare prices on the upcoming offers. Make your list and get ready to act quick come deal day.
10.) Track Amazon Sales
Keep an eye on the Amazon Daily Deals section. Each and everyday there are thousands of products being listed at a discount. You can find something for anyone on Amazon. From electronics to books and clothes to household items, you know Amazon has it all.
These Daily Deals savings once again provide another opportunity to best manage your Holiday spending starting now.
11.) Sell Some Clutter For Cash
Most of us have accumulated a lot of “stuff” over the years. From birthday and holidays, purchasing on our own wants or needs and a tendency to hold onto items, most of us seem to fill up our nests with items.
Why not turn your own clutter to cash to support your Holiday savings?
Decluttr is a free app and website that allows you to turn the “stuff” you’ve accumulated into cash. It’s specialty is electronic, tech items, video games, DVDs, etc. and even LEGO.
You simply scan the barcode (ISBN) of the item with the Decluttr app and Decluttr gives you an immediate offer. They then send you a prepaid shipping label and finalize your payments after they’ve received your items. No auctions, no fees and an easy to use app (or web) platform. Plus you can access free shipping and insurance coverage on your items.
Sign up to Decluttr today for free to start turning your clutter to cash.
12.) Do A Subscription Audit
Make a list of the subscriptions you currently have. Netflix, magazines, Audible, Spotify, meal kits, video game services, etc.
Are you getting the value you expected from these? Can you cut any of these if they aren’t benefiting your life? You might be able to save hundreds of dollars annually. If you don’t truly need, why not axe it? See if you miss it.
One tool to help you do that for free is the Trim Financial Manager App. Trim helps you save money on your subscriptions, bills and recurring expenses. It’s like an automated financial assistant that reviews all your accounts for cost-saving opportunities.
This subscription audit can help put extra money back into your account for your Holiday shopping.
13.) Cut Your Grocery Spending
One of the biggest areas of savings opportunity that the average person has is with their grocery spending.
Over the next 3 months leading into the Holidays you might be able to save a couple hundred dollars. Want to dive deeper on cutting your grocery costs?
This post on 13 easy steps to save money on groceries covers opportunities in 3 stages:
- Before The Shop: Use tools like Checkout51, make meal plans, etc.
- At The Shop: Stick to your list, take advantage of sales, etc.
- After The Shop: Bulk cook, use everything, review your spending, etc.
14.) Don’t Go Into Debt For Gifting
The biggest thing you can do to start saving for Holiday shopping now is the be honest with yourself (and others) by staying within your means.
Pressure to “one-up” or give great gifts can often lead to poor financial decisions. We’ve all done it. We’ve all spent above and beyond our budgets.
If money is a little tight this year, I’m sure your friends, family and loved ones would appreciate and understand you not being in financial trouble because of spending on theirs gifts. Open dialogue can help alleviate those stresses.
Ideally these steps above (and the many other money making or cost saving opportunities out there) will help avoid any credit card or personal debt due to Holiday shopping.
In Closing…Start Saving For Holiday Shopping
It’s never too early to start saving for Holiday shopping. Time flies and before you know it will be December.
Remove the stress by building your budget, making a plan, earning some extra money, saving by smarter spending and you’ll be well ahead of the Holidays. It’s meant to be a time to enjoy the company of friends, family and loved ones. Don’t let financial stresses or the pressures of gifting weigh you down.
Every situation is unique but hopefully something from the above helps you out.
Want tips or tricks do you use to make Holiday spending less stressful and cost-effective?
Let me know in the comments below.
Here are some more posts to help you take control of your money and life:
- 89 Personal Finance Tips – Budget, Save, Make, Invest & Better Manage Your Money
- 15 Smart Money Moves You Can (Easily) Make This Month
- The Best Personal Finance Podcasts – 30+ Money, Side Hustle And Investing Shows
- 35 Rewarding Side Hustles (Almost) Anyone Can Do To Earn More Money
- Building Good Money Habits – Make Your Money Momentum
- How To Make $1,000 Quick: 9+ Ways To Earn Money When You Need It