Although there are still a few months until the start of the 2022 holiday season, that hasn’t stopped some consumers from thinking about getting into holiday shopping. In addition to the usual stress of shopping for the perfect gifts for loved ones, a recent increase in the cost of everyday items is causing many potential buyers to rethink their holiday spending strategies – and how much they can really afford. afford to spend on gifts.

According to a recent survey conducted by Bankrate, two in five survey respondents (40%) said inflation will change the way they shop for the holidays this year.

Recent results from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index Summary also showed that the Food at Home Index, which reflects how much you’ll pay for groceries , increased by 13.5% over the past year. A rise in grocery prices could also mean that holiday dinner items are more expensive this year than they were last. Clothing prices, often a popular choice for holiday gifts, also rose 5.2% year-over-year.

With that in mind, it stands to reason that 84% of holiday shoppers polled in the Bankrate survey said they would try to save money this year, with 40% saying they would buy fewer items. , with 21% saying they would buy gifts. cheaper brands and 41% said they would look for coupons, sales and other discounts. 17% of holiday shoppers said they would give more DIY gifts, while 11% said they would give used or second-hand items as gifts. 17% of respondents said they would use credit card rewards to help offset costs, while 27% said they would start shopping earlier than in previous years.

Below, Select offers some quick tips that might help you save some cash if you’re worried about stretching your holiday shopping budget this year.

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Create a Sinking Fund for Holiday Shopping

With the holidays just a few months away, it’s not too late to start gathering some extra money to spend on your shopping. A sinking fund is a sum of money that you can set aside for a specific purpose, such as paying for a vacation or, in this case, buying holiday gifts.

A sinking fund can save you from having to raid your other savings accounts to pay for vacation-related expenses. Make your contribution goals feel achievable by choosing a smaller amount of money to transfer to your sinking fund each week. If, for example, you start setting aside $20 a week to buy holiday gifts now, come December, you’ll have saved $240. Depending on how much shopping you need to do, $240 might seem like a drop in the bucket, but a little can still go a long way.

It’s a good idea to transfer the money from your vacation purchases into a high-yield savings account, as they tend to pay much higher interest. Granted, you won’t earn hundreds of dollars a month in interest, but you’ll still earn more than you would with a traditional savings account.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a high-yield savings account that doesn’t charge monthly fees, excessive transaction fees, or overdraft fees. Although there is no minimum deposit required to open the account, you will need a balance of at least $1 to start earning interest.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield Online Savings

Goldman Sachs Bank USA is a member of the FDIC.

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

  • The minimum balance

    None to open; $1 to earn interest

  • Monthly fee

  • Maximum transactions

    Up to 6 free withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle *Cycle withdrawal limit of 6/instructions is waived during the Coronavirus outbreak under Regulation D

  • Excessive transaction fees

  • Overdraft fees

  • Offer a current account?

  • Offer an ATM card?

Select also ranked SoFi Checking and Savings as the best high-yield savings account with a welcome bonus. Once you’ve set up and started making direct deposits, you’ll be able to earn between $50 and $300, depending on the direct deposit amounts made within 30 days. This extra money could also be used to help cover holiday shopping costs this year.

SoFi Checking and Savings

Information about Sofi Checking and Savings has been independently collected by Select and was not reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.

  • Monthly maintenance fees

  • Minimum deposit to open

  • The minimum balance

  • Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    Members with direct deposit earn 1.80% APY. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.00% APY.

  • Network of free ATMs

    More than 55,000 free ATMs within the Allpoint® network

  • Reimbursement of ATM fees

  • Overdraft fees

    Free overdraft coverage is available; however, SoFi requires $1,000 in monthly direct deposit entries to unlock it

  • Mobile check deposit

Advantages

  • No minimum deposit to open an account
  • 1.80% APY with direct deposit
  • 2-day prepayment automatically when you set up direct deposit
  • Save your change automatically with Roundups and set savings goals with Vaults
  • Earn up to 15% cash back at local establishments
  • No foreign transaction fees

The inconvenients

  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees
  • This is not a standalone checking or savings account

Try stacking rewards to earn the most cash back possible

Reward stacking is the process of combining multiple purchase reward programs to maximize the rebates, points, and cash back you can receive on a single purchase. For example, if you were to buy a gift online using a credit card that earns you money while also using a browser extension like Rakuten, you can earn money there as well.

There are many rewards and credit card shopping services that can help you earn as many rewards and cash back as possible. Rakuten is a popular option because it’s easy to use – just add it to your browser and click the “activate” button when you’re on an eligible website. There are hundreds of participating retailers, and from time to time the cash back percentage for different retailers may increase or even double, giving you the opportunity to earn even more cash back for the items you were going to purchase. in any event.

Rakuten

Information about Rakuten was independently collected by Select and was not reviewed or provided by the company prior to publication.

  • Cost

  • How to save

    Get cash back on qualifying purchases, automatic coupons and price comparisons.

  • How to use it

    Buy from Rakuten.com, the Rakuten app or install the browser extension.

  • How to receive your savings

    Cash back is awarded every 3 months by check or PayPal payment.

When it comes to credit cards, the Citi® Double Cash Card gives you 2% cash back: 1% on all eligible purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill. The card has no annual fee and offers an introductory APR offer, giving you purchasing flexibility.

Alternatively, the Blue Cash Preferred® card from American Express allows you to earn cashback in several categories, including 6% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year; then 1% cash back) , 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions. , 3% cash back at US gas stations and on public transit, and 1% cash back on everything else. Note that cashback can be redeemed as statement credit.

Citi® Dual Charge Card

  • Awards

    2% Cash Back: 1% on all qualifying purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill

  • welcome bonus

    For a limited time, get $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    For balance transfers made within 4 months of account opening, an initial balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the secure site of American Express

  • Awards

    6% cash back in US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (1% thereafter), 6% cash back on select US streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back cash at US gas stations, 3% cash back on public transportation including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars which can be redeemed as statement credit.

  • welcome bonus

    Get a $350 credit on your statement after spending $3,000 on purchases with your new card in the first 6 months.

  • Annual subscription

  • Introduction AVR

    0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date the account is opened

  • Regular APR

  • Balance Transfer Fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Do not wait the last minute

Planning your purchases in advance can help you come up with a solid estimate of how much money you’re really going to spend on the vacation. It can also help you determine how much money you should have in your sinking fund so you can create a specific goal to work toward.

Plus, if you wait until the last minute to start shopping, you run the risk of having to pay extra for expedited shipping and getting stuck buying super-expensive items just to have a freebie.

Start by making a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and some potential ideas for each person — and don’t forget to include any holiday decor or other items you might need. This way, you can start tracking prices early so you can hit the buy button when you know the product you want is on sale or there’s another great deal you can take advantage of.

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Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.