15 Oct Holiday Shopping Strategies 2021
 [Author-Colleen Salchow] All Rights Reserved
CBS News reported that prices on holiday goods are expected to rise 5-10%. That’s a significant increase for holiday shopping 2021 budgets. So, if you are expecting to spend $100 on a new winter coat don’t be surprised if the price tag is $110 this year. There are also reports of supply chain disruptions around the country. Regardless if you are a parent shopping for your young children or a college student that wants to buy your roommate a gift before the end of the semester you need to start planning your holiday shopping budgets and goals now. If you want to learn how to create a sinking fund for the holidays look at this blog post I wrote a few weeks ago. Here are my strategies for holiday shopping in 2021.
Holiday Shopping Strategies for Children Under 10 Years Old
1.) Go through the toys the kids already have. If your child is not using specific items anymore consider either selling those toys or donating them to a local charity. This clears out space in your home, and it can also help you adjust your budget. You want to be strategic when holiday shopping.
2.) Ask the children what they are interested in. After this last year many kids, including our own, have started to look at eating out at local restaurants and participating in group activities with more appreciation. Buy gift cards to local restaurants or events instead of toys this year. This will impact the dining out budget too.
3.) Our daughter has started to enjoy creating wreaths for our new home here in South Carolina. I am not a creative person, but I have started to shift money in our family budget to purchasing items to make Christmas garland and wreaths with her. See if there are ways you can spend time with your child engaging in an activity they enjoy.
4.) Focus on what is needed rather than wanted. Winter apparel is essential, and as children grow they need to be prepared for the winter months. If your family is paying off debt or had to use emergency fund money to pay for an unexpected expense cut back on your holiday spending. The holiday budget needs to reflect your family’s financial situation. Emphasis having a merry LITTLE Christmas.
Holiday Shopping Strategies for Teens and Young Adults
1.) Ask the teens and young adults on your shopping list what they want. Look at where they are spending money and purchase a gift card to their favorite sites or shops.
2.) If they are going to school buy a gift card to the campus bookstore or online textbook retailer. Gift cards to restaurants around campus would also be useful.
3.) What are they saving up for? Is it a car or graduation trip? Gifting money specifically to go towards that long term fund will help them reach that big goal sooner.
4.) Young adults may not know to ask for kitchen appliances. My grandma gave me a crock pot when I moved into my first apartment along with a recipe book of healthy meals to make in it. I still have that crock pot and it saved me $1,000 because of all the meals I made with it at home. Cooking at home is a healthy financial strategy for everyone.
5.) Make sure that students that are studying away from home have the proper clothing for the winter season at their school. If the student is studying in a northern campus follow up with them to see if they need new winter boots or a warmer jacket.
Young Adults Holiday Shopping Strategies for Parents
1.) You have heard it before, but most parents don’t want you to spend money on them. They know that you’re just starting out and having you home for the holidays really is the best gift of all. Your holiday spending budget may be impacted by school tuition or lower paying wages.
2.) Offer to cook dinner and clean up the kitchen afterwards one night. Showing your family the cooking skills you have learned will help them feel more comfortable about you being away from home. The key here is to clean up the kitchen afterwards. Cook one of your favorite budget friendly meals.
3.) If you have younger siblings offer to watch them while your parents go out to eat. That way your parents don’t need to pay for a babysitter.
4.) Help with the yard work while you’re home. If you live in area that it snows shovel the drive or walkway. Your acts of service are just as valuable as a gift from a department store. This strategy will save you money as well.
5.) Parents are infamous for putting their needs last. Ask your parents or caregivers when the last time they bought themselves a new winter hat, gloves, or scarf. The answer may surprise young adults.
Remember the Reason for This Season
This last year has been full of challenges, but many of us have learned to appreciate the opportunity to be with the ones we love. Regardless of what gifts you give or receive remember why we celebrate this time of year. Sharing a meal with our family, playing board games together and talking about what we have accomplished will create memories that are priceless. Those memories are the greatest gift of all. Budgeting time for the ones you love is important.