Doing your holiday shopping online is convenient—no lines, no parking hassles, and no holiday crowds. You don’t even have to put shoes on! Follow these four smart tips for saving money while you shop online this holiday season.
1. Compare prices
One of the benefits of shopping online is that you can comparison shop without physically running from store to store. Once you settle on the items you want to purchase, search for online coupons, too. It’s not uncommon to get 10-15% off as a first-time shopper at on online retailer.
For even more savings, try this trick: abandon your online cart for one or two days. Leave your selected items in the cart but close the shopping window. When online retailers see that you didn’t complete the transaction, they may try to lure you back to their store with special offers and even larger discounts. The discounts tend to get bigger the longer you wait to go back to the cart.
2. Shop earlier in the season
Shopping at the last minute adds dollars to your holiday budget. Your emotions and adrenaline take over when you’re under stress, and the pressure to buy blinds you to the extra expenses. Give yourself time to take the steps to save. Don’t forget to add shipping costs to your bottom line. The longer you can wait for an item to arrive at your doorstep, the cheaper the shipping options. If you buy from a local retailer online, skip the shipping fees altogether and opt for an in-store pick up.
3. Keep your budget in clear view
While you shop, keep your budget not only in mind, but also in view. Alongside your shopping tabs, keep a tab open to an online money management tool like First Financial Bank’s Panorama. With all your financial accounts on one screen, you can create a budget with categories specifically for the holidays and monitor your spending. Shopping with a budget keeps your seasonal spending snowball from turning into an avalanche of debt. With Panorama, you can even set alerts to notify you of purchases, deposits and withdrawals to help you detect any suspicious activity, keeping you and your money safe.
4. Hunt down the clearance section
Did you know that many online stores have a clearance section? Just like at a store, where clearance and sale items are tucked into the back corners, the online clearance section may require a deeper look to find. This is the “hunting” part of bargain hunting—scroll to the bottom and far reaches of the shopping tabs to find the sale and clearance sections. Remember to stick to your spending plan and not buy extras just because they are on sale.
Don’t let holiday spending squelch your spirit and bring out your bah-humbug. Instead, let First Financial Bank help you manage your personal finances with Panorama, an easy-to-use, online money management tool. Together, you and First Financial can meet your long-term financial goals well beyond this shopping season.