Is it really too early to start holiday shopping?


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For some, it may still feel too early to listen to Christmas music, but that doesn’t mean it’s too soon to start shopping for holiday gifts — at least that’s what major retailers want you to think.


Thanks to record-high inflation this year, retailers are facing challenges here in Q4. The year’s end is typically the most profitable time of the year for many companies. But, with the prices of goods rising year-over-year across the board, shoppers may not be able to buy as much as they did in the past.


To compensate, major retailers are being more aggressive with their holiday promotions. In fact, Target (TGT) already has deals underway, and Walmart (WMT) will kick things off on Oct. 10, followed by Amazon (AMZN) on Oct. 11.


For reference, in 2019, Target’s holiday deals started on Nov. 8, Walmart’s began on Oct. 25 and Amazon’s kicked off on Nov. 1.

Capturing SOW

The main idea behind retailers running holiday promotions is to increase their share-of-wallet with the consumer. In other words, Walmart wants to offer incredible deals so that shoppers perform the majority of their shopping at Walmart, as opposed to Amazon or Target. Offering discounts is profitable, provided it gets people in the door and buying more products.


Industry execs have stated that capturing wallet share may prove particularly challenging this year, as inflation and a slowing macroeconomic environment could prompt some consumers — especially lower and middle-income buyers — to shorten their shopping lists. In fact, 2-in-5 shoppers state they will alter their shopping habits this year.


All that said, people are still going to be shopping for gifts, and the companies that start running promotions earlier aim to capitalize on that demand.

Wrapping Up (Presents)

For consumers looking to stock up on holiday gifts, this comes as welcomed news.


In 2021, retailers were concerned with how the holiday season would play out, given the questionable state of the post-COVID economy. They took an aggressive stance when it came to discounting products, in hopes of boosting sales. The result was one of the strongest holiday shopping seasons to date.


Thanks to the success of last year’s strategy, retailers are doubling down. They’re offering more discounts for a longer period of time.


There’s no doubt that 2022 has been a tough year for the consumer, but this bit of good news could be the beginning of a festive holiday shopping season.


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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


Featured Image Credit: Khosrork/ iStock.