As the holiday season approaches, inflation seems to inch higher and higher. The timing couldn’t be worse, especially when it’s coupled with troubled shipping times and production issues. 

Fortunately, there are ways to handle inflation so that you have the holidays you want and don’t go over budget.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to offset inflation this holiday season.

Make a List and Prioritize It

Everyone wants to do everything for everyone during the holidays, but if it’s not in the budget, don’t do it this year. To decide what you can and can’t do, make a list of everything you would like to do and prioritize the list.

Put the items at the top that are non-negotiable – you must do them, and then work your way down from there. The items at the bottom of the list can be the first to go if they don’t fit in your budget.

Pay Cash

Don’t fall into the credit card trap, or worse yet, the buy now pay later trap. There are many opportunities that make it feel easier to afford a ‘normal’ holiday but don’t do it. 

Credit cards accrue interest and buy now pay later ‘deals’ only push the budget problems over the next couple of weeks. Most BNPL plans require 25% payments every two weeks for the next six weeks. If you couldn’t afford it today, how could you afford it moving forward?

Instead, pay cash for everything. This way, there’s no questioning what you can and can’t afford. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. 

Shop Sales and Use Coupons

Today it’s easier than ever to save money on those purchases you must make. It takes a little legwork, but if you have a smartphone, you can save money with the click of a button.

First, keep an eye out for big sales. Even though Cyber Week is just about over, there are plenty of other sales to be had during the holiday rush. Keep an eye on the stores you have to shop and jump when things go on sale.

If you miss the sales, look for coupons online or use a cashback app to earn money back on your purchases. Rakuten is a great app to use, especially during the holiday season – many stores are giving back 10% on your purchase. 

Avoid Panic Buying

It’s easy to fall into the ‘panic buying’ trap. You hear there may be shortages, and you stock up, but at what cost?

Don’t fall into the trap and instead stick to your list. If there’s something you don’t get this year, it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t stress yourself out or make purchases you don’t need. Remember the toilet paper hoarding of last year? It wasn’t necessary after all, and neither is stockpiling anything else right now.

Final Thoughts

Inflation is everywhere, but it shouldn’t set you over budget. Keep your head on straight and figure out what you can and cannot afford this year. You aren’t alone in the issues, so do what you must, and your friends and family will understand.