Combining the holidays with a poor economy is most people’s worst nightmare; not only are expenses generally higher due to preparing gifts and attending events, but the extraordinarily high prices of goods make it harder to manage everything. Today, ten thousand rupees is not worth the same as it was just a few years ago. So when shopping for gifts for others (and yourself!), it might get a little disheartening when you see the marked up prices, but the upside is - a savvy shopper will still be able to track down great deals and walk away with steals when it comes to almost anything. With a little time and effort, you can easily take advantage of great offers and discounts.
Here are some shopping tips for the upcoming holiday season.
1. Credit card offers are your best friends
If there was a singular reason as to why you need a credit card, it’s due to the abundance of credit card offers during holiday seasons. Despite whatever struggles you might have with credit cards, there is no denying that owning one can save you a lot of money when combined with credit card offers. All the major stores will partner with all credit card companies to offer across-the-board discounts at their outlets or through their websites. These offers can range from a flat 20% off to even higher values. Apart from discounts, you might even be able to snag a zero interest installment scheme offered by your credit card company which makes a world of difference when buying expensive goods like phones or laptops.
At the same time, two things you should be wary of when giving in to credit card offers is to never buy what you can’t afford to pay in full with your next paycheck and avoid the temptation of buying things you don’t need simply because they are on sale.
2. Cash purchases can save you a lot of money
While credit cards can save you a lot of money, don’t overlook the power of physical cash in favour of the plastic card. Most smaller shops will always prefer getting their money in the form of cash in full and upfront. In fact, you can actually find shops offering lower rates for cash purchases, especially for items like electronics. It’s very important to not rely entirely on credit cards and start saving up for this holiday season a few months in advance to grab these cash-only offers. An added benefit of dealing in cash is that you don’t take on any financial commitments for the future - which means that once you have made your purchase, you don’t need to worry about settling the bill next month.
That being said, collecting enough cash to manage all your holiday expenses is easier said than done. If you come across an unbeatable offer, say for that mobile phone you’ve always wanted, it might be worth taking out payday loans to avail these great offers. Money lenders like OnCredit.lk have seasonal offers like zero interest loans etc. which can be of great benefit to you.
3. Weather the storm during sales
If you’ve seen hordes of people flocking together at in-store sales and wondered why anyone would want to throw themselves into the maw, it’s very simple: they are very effective. Clearance sales or even other large sales are messy, disorganised and crowded beyond belief - but there is no denying that, if you manage to weather the storm, you can walk away with good items at unbeatable prices. While you might not have the luxury of fitting on garments or taking your time to assess the quality of other goods, with a little bit of luck you can find some really great items at even greater prices.
It is advisable to avoid rush hours like lunchtime, after working hours or even weekends when trying to take advantage of a sale. Try taking a few hours off work to pop in - the money saved will always be worth it. Going during the last few hours of the sale might mean that all the good items have been picked off but you never know - there might still be something to catch your eye.
Note: due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, you should always strictly follow all health regulations and guidelines when visiting public spaces, especially crowded ones.
4. Trawl the internet
If the thought of being suffocated by discount-hungry shoppers at a sale is repulsive, don’t worry! Most shops are encouraging visitors to opt for online purchases to avoid in-store footfall by offering online-exclusive offers. Large e-commerce retailers will have fabulous seasonal offers. Additionally, apart from the standard retailers, there are countless smaller shops who sell their goods on social media and websites without having any physical shops that offer high quality goods (both locally-manufactured as well as imported) at very decent prices. These shops also generally have seasonal offers that match, if not rival, those offered by larger retailers. Keep an eye on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, as well as on the display ads on websites that you visit.
Even though the holidays are going to end up costing you a lot of money - money that you might not have this year - certain expenses are simply unavoidable. By taking advantage of seasonal offers, you can lighten the financial burden while still enjoying this time to the fullest. Provide your family and friends with a wonderful holiday season all the while making smart financial decisions this year.