Holiday shopping before Halloween

October 23, 2010 (CHICAGO)

In 2009, 39-percent of Americans began their holiday shopping prior to Halloween. According to many shopping connoisseurs, the rewards of adopting an early-bird approach to holiday shopping offers many advantages ranging from choice selection to peace of mind.

Avoiding Holiday Shopping Hazards

Savvy Shoppers Start Early, Buy Smart, Save Time and Money

If the thought of a rapidly approaching Halloween is enough to give you goose bumps, the realization that there are less than seventy days remaining for holiday shopping will put a scare into the stoutest consumer. Looking for the best way to avoid the anxiety and overspending? The most agreed upon solution is getting an early start.

In 2009, 39% of Americans began their holiday shopping prior to Halloween. And according to many shopping connoisseurs, the rewards of adopting an early-bird approach to holiday shopping offers many valuable advantages ranging from choice selection to peace of mind.

Joan Jensen, president and CEO of the Central Credit Union of Illinois is here today to offer some ideas, good reasons and advantages to getting an early jump on his year's holiday shopping.

Take Advantage of Time-- Holiday entertaining and shopping can stress your budget and your nerves. Making plans now can save time and money in the long run and help make your holidays more enjoyable.

Get Started Sooner

  • Be on the lookout for sale items that will make great holiday gifts
  • Each week add some holiday staples to your grocery cart and buy a couple of gifts. This help spread out your expenses over the next couple of months. It will also give you an incentive to start cutting back on unnecessary spending now.
  • Check out the Dollar stores for low cost gift wrapping supplies and stocking stuffers Order internet and catalogue items early for on time arrival without extra shipping charges
  • Give Homemade Items-- You don't need to be Martha Stewart to score points with homemade goodies and gifts. But, it helps to plan ahead so you have time for baking and crafts.

    > Shop Early for "Must Haves" or Popular Items
  • Scaled back inventories may cause popular items to sell out early. Shop for "must have", popular items early. If you wait too long, you may spend more time and money to locate and purchase that must have item.
  • End the Holiday Season with No Holiday Bills-- According to a Consumer Reports poll, holiday shoppers who relied on plastic to pay for holiday gifts last year spent an average of $896. While nearly 40% planned to pay off the debt by the end of January, many said they would likely not be "paid in full" until March or later.

  • Unless you can pay off your credit cards in full, avoid using them for holiday spending. Plan on using cash or your debit card. Adopt a pay-as-you-go plan to avoid January Credit Card Blues. It will help you avoid the high finance charges resulting from credit card debt and help moderate your spending.
  • Plan a gift buying budget and stick with it
  • Think of low cost, "priceless" gifts. Babysitting services and memorable photographs are always appreciated.
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