Get a Jump on Holiday Shopping

We know what you’re thinking: “It’s not even Halloween and you’re talking about holiday shopping? STOP PRESSURING US!”

Don’t worry, we’re not here to add more to your already overloaded plate, we just want to offer some helpful tips to those of you who don’t want to wait till the last minute.

In a recent survey by CreditCards.com, 22 percent of respondents aged 18-29 said they planned to shop early this year. (Perhaps not surprisingly, 7 percent of over-65 respondents said they had already finished their holiday shopping. Way to go, grandma!)

 

So, what are the benefits of shopping early?

 

Comparison shopping

If you have a holiday shopping list, starting now will give you more time to compare prices from different stores and online retailers to be sure you’re getting the best deal.

 

Sales

While Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) was traditionally the day retailers would launch their holiday sales, that date has been creeping up. If you start now, you’ll be able to take advantage of several sales before the holiday hits.

 

Spacing out your spending

No one enjoys getting a huge bill for last-minute shopping splurges. Avoid blowing your budget by giving yourself a monthly allowance for gifts from now through the end of the year.

 

More selection

The good stuff gets snapped up early, so if you put off trying to find that perfect gift until days before the holiday, it might be gone.

 

Avoiding trampling

Every year there’s some sad story of a hopeful shopper getting run over, knocked down or even punched in the shopping frenzy that stores create with their bottom-dollar sales and limited inventory. Be safe—shop early.

 

If you do wait, be sure to take advantage of these key shopping dates:

November 11

Veteran’s Day

As with other national holidays such as Presidents Day, Memorial Day, etc., Veterans Day is another excuse for a sale.

November 26

Thanksgiving

Stores used to at least let you eat some turkey before they opened their doors, but faced with long lines at their crack-of-dawn opening times, an increasing number are opening on Thanksgiving Day.

November 27

Black Friday

Traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is when stores welcome shoppers as early as 5 a.m. Some stores (bless them) have taken a stand against opening on Thanksgiving, but on Black Friday, all bets are off.

November 28

Small Business Saturday

This idea was cooked up in 2010 by American Express to encourage shoppers to patronize local businesses. Many local businesses offer deals, so this is a great day to find unique gifts.

November 30

Cyber Monday

Born in 2005, Cyber Monday is the equivalent of Black Friday, but for online merchants. Many Cyber Monday sales are publicized via email—start signing up with your favorite online retailers now so you don’t miss any deals.

December 19

Super Saturday

Otherwise known as Panic Saturday, Super Saturday is when stores make their last-ditch attempt to lure last-minute shoppers. If you’ve waiting this long, you might still find some good deals.

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