The average person will spend $805.65 during the 2015 holiday season on gifts, food, decorations and other purchases, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s the highest amount in the 14-year history of the NRF’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey but only a few dollars more than last year’s $802.45 total.
For all the spending, a little planning and saving could go a long way. The season is quickly approaching, so consider these TaxSlayer tips to gear up for the holidays.
- Make a list and check it twice. Write down the individuals you need to buy presents for and how much you’d like to spend on each gift. If the list grows too long, purchasing a group gift for a family instead of several small gifts could help you cut back. Know your spending budget and adjust your list so you don’t exceed the limit.
- Create a holiday savings account. Some people save throughout the year but if your list is longer and more expensive than you expected, start making cut backs on other spending habits such as eating out or buying daily coffee. Set aside the money you save. Some banks offer holiday savings accounts that allow you to make regular contributions.
- Get the deals. Sign up for newsletters and emails from stores where you know you will shop. You will get coupons and know the best days for sales. Stores will heavily promote Black Friday and Cyber Monday but even bigger savings can sometimes be found on the days right before Christmas.
- Don’t procrastinate. Plane tickets, hotels and other travel expenses will only get more expensive the closer you get to the holidays. Book early and search online to save fees that you might be charged when calling airlines directly. Compare quotes on prices of rental cars.
Everyone’s looking for a good deal around the holidays. Nearly three-quarters of shoppers said sales or price discounts are one of the most important factors when shopping for the holidays, according to the NRF.