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5 budgeting tips for holiday shopping

How to budget for Christmas shopping
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Tip: Use an automatic savings tool like Honey to make sure you get the sweetest deal while doing your holiday shopping online this season.

3. Shopping at brick-and-mortar stores? Browse online first.

Want to sniff that perfume or squeeze those fuzzy socks before you buy? Before heading to the store, use a trick known as "webrooming" — that is, going online to check product reviews, compare prices, and learn about upcoming sales before buying at a brick-and-mortar store. Be aware, though, that some retailers offer lower prices online than in the store.3 In that case, consider buying online and choosing free in-store pickup.

4. Reward yourself with bigger holiday savings.

Credit card rewards can help you save big this season. So check to see if you have unused rewards on any open credit card accounts. You might: three out of 10 Americans have never cashed in their rewards.4 If you find a stash, figure out which strategy yields the most value: converting points or miles to cash, redeeming them for gift cards or merchandise you can give as gifts, or using them to book holiday travel. Second, use a cash-back credit card for your shopping to get an extra percentage back on all of your purchases. If you spend $1,000 on a card that gives three percent back, you save $30.

5. Use cards with your best interest in mind.

Wise credit card use is key to avoiding holiday debt. An analysis by Nerdwallet published in their 2018 Holiday Shopping Report found that roughly 39.4 million Americans were still paying off credit card balances from the 2017 holiday season in the months leading up to the 2018 holiday shopping season.5 If you won't be able to pay off your card in full when you get the bill, consider applying for a credit card that comes with a zero percent interest introductory offer. Then calculate how much you can reasonably charge and still pay off your balance before interest payments kick in.

Use these tips to celebrate the holidays without spending beyond your means. And if you'd like to get more information on how to budget or use your credit or debit cards, stop by a local branch or give us a call at 1-888-SYNOVUS (1-888-796-6887). We're happy to help this season or any time.

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This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. National Retail Federation, "Holiday shoppers plan to spend 4 percent more this year," published October 24, 2019. Accessed October 29, 2019. Back
  2. Lifewire.com, "What is the Honey App?" Updated May 19, 2019, accessed October 29, 2019. Back
  3. Dina Gerdeman, "Should Retailers Match Their Own Prices Online and In Stores?" Forbes. Published June 7, 2018, accessed October 29, 2019. Back
  4. Bankrate.com, "3 in 10 Have Never Redeemed Credit Card Rewards," published April 12, 2017. Accessed October 29, 2019. Back
  5. Elizabeth Renter, "2018 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report," Nerdwallet. Published November 7, 2018, accessed October 29, 2019. Back