4 Ways to Budget and Save in Time for the Holidays


October 12 is National Savings Day.

Prices are increasing and the holiday season is nearing.

According to a recent survey conducted by TopCashback.com (TopCashback), the USA’s most generous cash back site, 71 percent of Americans say they’ve changed their budget and saving habits due to inflation.

The survey polled a cross-section of 2,593 adults, aged 18 and over.

A season of spending

What season does your spending increase the most (i.e. saving less)?

  • Winter (46 percent)
  • Summer (35 percent)
  • Fall (14 percent)
  • Spring (Five percent)

Do you change your budget depending on the season? 

  • Sometimes (42 percent)
  • No (31 percent)
  • Yes (27 percent)

And since 66 percent of Americans do not feel financially prepared for retirement, it’s important to look at all options to build savings — especially as we head into the holiday season. Here are four ways to get the most out of your spending (and saving) from Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback.

  • Plan accordingly. Whether it’s building a budget or making a shopping list before hitting the stores, planning your expenses before the holidays will help you save money. Consider adopting the 50/20/30 rule when budgeting. You’ll want to spend 50 percent of your after-tax income on priorities, such as food and utilities; while 20 percent can be put towards financial obligations, like debt repayment or savings. The 30 percent can be spent on additional expenses such as holiday shopping. 
    • Pro-tip: Once you’ve built your budget, you’ll have a better idea of what you can spend this season. Make a list of all of the people you plan to buy gifts for, along with any gift ideas you have for them. Look into the average price of each gift idea to determine how much you’d like to spend for each person, and make sure the total amount fits in your budget. 
  • Stack your discounts. When holiday shopping, focus on comparing prices and saving. Start by researching the gifts you’re shopping for to find the lowest price possible. Take into account any applicable coupons and promotions, as well as any relevant credit card rewards. From there, shop through a cash back site, like TopCashback, which guarantees the highest percentage of your money back on qualifying purchases from popular holiday retailers like Macy’sBest Buy and Walmart.
  • Use the right credit card. Knowing which card to use when shopping can boost your savings even more. Look into the terms of your credit card’s program to determine which categories offer the highest rewards, cash back and/or points. Make note to use that card on those purchases. Once you’ve earned the rewards, you may be able to apply them as a statement credit towards your bill — which can be helpful when paying for holiday expenses.
  • Wait for a sale. Some stores follow the same calendar of sales each year, so take note of any sales hosted at your favorite retailers and save your shopping trip for then (if you can). For example, Sephora typically hosts their “Savings Event” once in the spring and once in the fall, and Nordstrom historically hosts their “Anniversary Sale” event every year in mid-July. By keeping track of the sales cycle, you can plan out your purchases more effectively to fit within your budget.
    • Pro-tip: If a store is consistently running promotions throughout the year, then it’s likely that you’ll always find an opportunity to save money. However, if you need a specific product that’s only sold by a certain retailer, sign up for that store’s email list and follow them on social media to receive notifications for when they’re having a sale.

***Courtesy of Rebecca Gramuglia, Public Relations Manager***

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