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Holiday Savings Series – Part 3: Last-minute Holiday Shopping Tips

Dec 16, 2016

This is part three of PFCU’s Holiday Savings Series. Check out Part One for Black Friday Shopping Tips and Part Two for Simple Holiday Saving Tips.

With less than two weeks left until Christmas, the pressure is on to find the perfect gifts for your friends and family. Follow these simple last-minute holiday shopping tips to make your shopping quick and easy.

4 Tips for Your Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

Stay Organized

Organization will be your saving grace when it comes to last-minute holiday shopping. To stay organized, make a list of what you have already purchased and what you still need to buy. Carry this list with you throughout the holiday season so you can reference it anytime you make a purchase. This will be tremendously helpful when you pick up last-minute items during your daily grind.

Check for Coupons

It can be easy to forget about sales and coupons, but they are imperative when sticking to a holiday budget—especially at the last minute. Check your receipt while doing your regular shopping throughout the holiday season. Retailers often include coupon codes for future purchases there. Also check coupon code sites like RetailMeNot.com when making online purchases for holiday deals. 

Set a Time Limit

Time is a valuable commodity during the holiday season. It’s easy to get carried away when shopping online or in the mall. To make the most of your tight schedule, set a time limit when you head out to shop. Before you get inside the store, set a timer on your phone for the amount of time you want to spend. This should discourage you from spending too much time browsing random aisles and making excess purchases. If you are shopping online, give yourself about 20 minutes to search for an item. This should be enough time to find the best deal for your ideal gift.

Don’t Rule Out Gift Cards

While gifts cards can be considered an impersonal gift, there are ways to make them special! Purchase gift cards from unique small businesses in your community or for a loved one’s favorite restaurant. Gift certificates for services can be great presents as well! Spas often sell packages at a discounted rate that will surely be a hit with the beauty lover in your life. And lastly, wrapping your gift card in a special box or homemade card will remind the receiver of the thought that went into his or her gift. Department stores sell small boxes and cards specifically for gift cards. Keep an eye out for gift card options near the checkout!

Procrastinating during the holidays is usually inevitable, but it doesn’t have to send shoppers into a panic. Stores and retailers will be offering deals up until the literal last minute, so be sure to take advantage when making your purchases. The key to success is staying organized with a list and tracking your time. And don’t rule out gift cards as a thoughtful option this season!

This holiday shopping tips post concludes PFCU’s Holiday Savings Series. We hope all our members and neighbors enjoy time spent with their loved ones this season. Stay tuned for advice on financial resolutions for 2017!

More Holiday Shopping Tips

Read the rest of our 2016 Holiday Savings Series:
Part 1 – Black Friday Shopping Tips
Part 2 – 4 Simple Holiday Savings Tips


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor
Philadelphia Federal Credit Union
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