The views expressed in Economy Matters are not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System.

Editor's note: Throughout Economy Matters, "Southeast" refers to the six states that, in whole or in part, make up the Sixth Federal Reserve District: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Financial Tips from the Atlanta Fed: Holiday Shopping Tips

November 1, 2021

delivery person handing off a package

Nota del editor: Este artículo también está disponible en español.

The holidays can be stressful, but if you make a plan, they don’t have to stress your finances. These tips can help you avoid busting your budget during the holiday season.

Develop a budget for holiday spending and make sure to include not only gifts, but other expenses such as travel, entertaining, decorations, cards, paper, shipping, and even higher utility bills for lighting and other decorations.

  • Make a list and compare prices. Take advantage of sales on items you already plan to purchase to avoid impulse buys.
  • Use credit wisely. Credit cards are convenient and offer purchase protection, but they may also encourage overspending.
  • Beware of holiday shopping scams. Fraudsters are especially active during the holiday season.
  • Be creative. Sometimes the best gifts don’t come from a store.
  • Pandemic-related shortages and shipping delays persist. Shop early to make sure purchases arrive on time, and be aware of ordering and shipping deadlines, which may be earlier this year.