Black Friday used to be the unofficial start to the holiday season, but if you haven’t noticed, that date has shifted up more so this year than any other.
This early start puts many of us at risk of going overboard, so you've got to be realistic about what you can actually afford.
According to a new survey by Tally, a popular debt payoff app – 78% of Americans who were negatively impacted financially by the pandemic are more likely to feel pressure to shop earlier than normal. That same amount of parents with kids under 18 say they also feel the pressure.
Less than half of the people surveyed say they feel pressure because they're worried about prices going up. Worries about shipping delays (44%) came in a close second in the survey.
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There's no doubt supply chain issues and shipping delays have folks worried.
So, how do we navigate all of this so we can get what we need, on time, and on a budget?
Personal finance expert Bobbi Rebell sent us some tips:
- Set a strict list of people you want to get gifts for. Then set a budget for how much you want to spend in total, not per gift.
- Factor in shipping costs into your budget. Don't make the mistake of ignoring that.
- Consider gift options where inventory or shipping delays are not a concern, like audiobook subscriptions, gift certificates to restaurants, annual memberships to the zoos or museums, even meal subscription services. Those are gifts the whole family can enjoy.
The overall goal is to set yourself up for financial success in the new year and not go into debt before Thanksgiving.