How to keep inflation from spoiling your holidays


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Prepare For A Pricey Holiday

The holidays are often the busiest and most hectic time of the year. This year, thanks to record-high inflation, you can add “priciest” to that list as well.


While shopping for gifts is rarely ever cheap, this year’s forecast looks especially painful. The annual rate of inflation currently sits at 8.3%, which is well above the 2% that the Fed shoots for. Prices are rising even faster than that in some categories. For example, the average cost of groceries has risen 13.5% from last year. That latter data point will bring on additional headaches if you plan to host a holiday dinner.


With inflation soaring at this level, it’s extra important for consumers to be strategic with their holiday shopping this year.

Avoid Frosty Finances

There are a few strategies that experts recommend when prepping your budget for the holidays.


One approach is known as “reward stacking” while shopping for holiday gifts. This is when an individual combines several different shopping rewards programs to maximize savings. For example, using an online coupon service while also using a credit card that gives 3% cash back.


Speaking of credit cards, many consumers look to take advantage of credit card referral programs. Some banks and lending institutions will pay $100 or more for encouraging new members to sign up. This can be another easy way to recoup the money that you’re losing as a result of inflation.

Making a List, Checking It Twice

Perhaps the most important thing consumers should focus on is carefully planning ahead for their holiday shopping this year.

There’s no doubt that the higher inflation rate will make this holiday season a little more painful than normal. But by creating a game plan ahead of time, you’ll know exactly how much cash you’ll need on hand. Additionally, buying gifts well in advance can help you take advantage of sales while also avoiding any extra fees for expedited shipping.


Thanks to high inflation, shoppers might need to get a little creative with their spending this year. However, as the Whos in Whoville taught the Grinch, it’s not really about the presents anyway – just don’t tell that to Amazon (AMZN) or Walmart (WMT).


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This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


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6 ways to prevent holiday debt


Because holiday gifts aren’t always a line item in a budget, it’s easy to see why last-minute purchases can end up on a credit card. And while it’s tempting, it’s best if you can avoid doing this at all costs (unless you can pay off the balance in full). Here are six ways to prevent holiday debt — and still celebrate and honor the season.

“If you’re not able to pay your credit card debt off at the end of that month, you’re financing gifts to people,” says Michael Bovee, co-founder of Resolve and a debt relief expert with more than 20 years of experience. “That’s never a good financial move. So only spend what you can afford.”

And while we know that can be tough advice to follow, we have tips to help you do it without feeling the pinch.


Deagreez / istockphoto


If it’s too late for this year, resolve to make better financial decisions for the holidays next year. How? Start planning from the outset. “Start at the beginning of the year for your holiday spending and have a budget for it that you put money into throughout the year,” Bovee says. “It’s no different than you making those purchases in November and having to pay for them for the next six months. Except all the gifts that you buy then are more expensive after the holidays as soon as the bill comes, because you’re paying interest.”

Make a list of everyone you anticipate buying a gift for and set a budget of how much you can spend, then sock away the money slowly throughout the year. By making it part of your monthly budget, you’ll be prepared financially by the time the holidays roll around and will be less likely to overspend and get into holiday debt..


GeorgeRudy / istockphoto


Gift-buying is only one part of holiday spending. If you travel for the holidays or host family or friends, you’re looking at bigger expenses for travel, food and potentially accommodations. Account for all of that in your budget when you’re factoring in how much you’ll need to get through the holiday season debt-free. Plus, planning ahead in this category can help you cut travel costs in a big way. Set up flight trackers early if you know you’ll be traveling to visit family or friends for the holidays, so can pounce on cheap flights as soon as you see them.


SolisImages / istockphoto


If you have your budget and a list of gift items from January, you’ll be in a better position to take advantage of sales long before the holidays. If, say, a gift you want for your sister is deeply discounted during Memorial Day promotions, pull from the money you have earmarked for gifts to buy it for less.


These days, there are so many ways to get discount codes for online shopping. Whether that’s signing up for a brand’s newsletter, Googling for coupons, or using programs like Honey (a free browser extension that automatically applies coupon codes when you shop on specific sites), make it a rule to always search for a coupon before making any online or in-store purchase. Odds are, you’ll be able to save something, even if that’s simply shipping fees, but we suspect you’ll find deeper discounts if you do a little digging.



Just say no to holiday debt. Setting a holiday spending budget is only as good as your ability to follow through. It’s one thing to say you’re capping holiday spending at $300 this year, but if you don’t tally up those receipts as you make purchases, you could blow past your self-imposed limit without even noticing. Use a money-tracking app or spreadsheet to make sure you’re staying on target. (Check out, which has different downloadable budget spreadsheet templates to choose from.) Then stop when you hit either the total number of gifts you need or your upper spending limit. Challenge yourself to come in under budget. And remember: You don’t have to spend every penny budgeted!





Separate a good gift from the price tag. There’s no rule that says you have to spend money on someone’s gift. “Can you give your time?” Bovee asks. “I would fall over flat if one of my daughters showed up at my door saying, ‘Dad, I’m here to wash your car. It’s your Christmas gift.’ There are so many ways to give. My wife is a crafter, so at times where we’ve had tighter budgets, she would make a lot of things, and she’s super good at it. Ask yourself: How can I not spend and still give something to someone that is valued by them? People will surprise themselves by what they’re able to create.”

This article originally appeared on Resolve and was syndicated by


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