8 Tips For Consumers to Spend Less On Holiday Shopping

Consumer spending has been strong throughout 2023 despite high inflation. They have been resilient due to higher grocery costs and gas prices. However, consumers may be slowing down and seeking more deals, as reflected in recent earnings from major retailers, including Burlington, Costco, Target, and TJ Maxx. This trend will likely continue, with households spending less on the holidays.

According to The Conference Board Holiday Spending Survey, US consumers plan to spend an average of $985 on holiday-related items in 2023, less than the $1,006 reported in 2022. As part of this total, consumers intend to spend an average of $654 on holiday gifts, up 6.7% from $613 last year. By contrast, consumers expect to spend much less on holiday-related non-gift items this year—only $330 compared to $393 in 2022, a 16% decline.

As we end the year, reviewing your financial plan to spend wisely, make end-of-year investing decisions, and have fun is an excellent time.

1. Make a Budget For the Holidays

Young woman budgeting
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Do you shop more during holidays? Make sure to have a holiday shopping list. Research what you need and see if you can get a deal or promotion on Black Friday. In recent years, there have been many deals throughout the holiday season. Are you hosting a dinner or a party during the holiday season? Make a grocery shopping list early so you can spot deals. Food may be more expensive this season due to inflation.

Plan your gifts early, estimating the cost so you can distribute cash or presents to your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and people who help you year-round, including those who do your lawn, handyman, dog walker, and postman.

2. Keep Track Of Your Spending

Track spending Depositphotos 467561314 XL
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Track your spending and use your budget to guide you. Try not to go off-script.  Search online and put items in your cart to prompt follow-up coupons and discounts on your purchases. The point of tracking spending is to be more conscious about your purchases to be guilt-free and enjoy the holidays.

3. Shop Early to Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination shutterstock 1936552327
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Start shopping early so you aren’t forced to buy in a hurry. When we procrastinate, we spend more as stores get more crowded. Do comparative pricing online to better gauge what gifts will cost this year.

4. Pay Off Credit Card Balances


The holidays are often stressful, especially when we increase our credit card balances, with interest charges averaging 20%.  According to the Third Quarter 2023 NY Fed Household Report, credit card balances jumped to $1.079 trillion, up $154 billion sequentially. More alarming, the share of card balances transitioning to 90+ days rose to 5.78% from 3.69%.  Some borrowers are getting pinched by student loans. If you are using credit cards this season, plan to pay off your balances in full as soon as possible.

5. Use More Cash

Woman with cash making savings
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If you know you will overspend if you use your credit cards, try using cash. It is a good way to keep track of your money for smaller purchases. You will feel pain more immediately and often are more informed about your purchases.

6. Be A Savvy, Not Impulsive Shopper

Instant gratification spending Depositphotos 407075956 XL
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

The holiday season is a tricky time to shop. Typically, you are not buying things for yourself. Gift shopping is more of a necessity because we are getting something for family and friends. Don’t feel any guilt looking for bargains for others. Merchants are taking advantage of us during this time, with red sale signs that aren’t always bargains. The store is brightly lit, and holiday music is being piped in. That’s marketing psychology at work, making us feel nostalgic and joyous., but it sometimes leads to impulsive shopping. Be more mindful, and stick to your list.

7. Year-End Tax Strategies For Your Portfolio


While your mind may be on the upcoming holiday season, this time of year is a good time to consider how to efficiently structure your capital gains and losses in your portfolio. That means reviewing your portfolio tax-loss harvesting, which means selling “taxable” investment assets like stocks, mutual funds, and bonds at a loss. The losses of these long-term holdings (i.e., at least a year and a day) can be matched against other holdings that have capital gains in your portfolio, reducing the capital gains taxes you’ll owe. Start now before the year ends to minimize your tax liabilities.  Talk to a financial adviser about selling some stocks.

8. Charitable Giving

Volunteers Collecting Food Donations
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

You might do charity all year, whether it is giving of your time by volunteering or donating to charities. This time of year, there are a lot of toy, food, and clothing drives collected by your neighborhood centers, churches, or other places of worship. Participate as best you can, or make donations to your favorite charities.

17 of the Best Crazy Ideas to Make Money Legitimately

Crazy man Depositphotos 73937113 XL

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

If you are always looking for ways to make money, I can assure you there are countless ways. It helps if you are creative and open to crazy ideas to make money legally, whether as a side gig or a full-time job. On a recent online forum, one user asked members, “What are the craziest ways you’ve heard of people making money?” The thread exploded with all sorts of suggestions that we share.

22 Dead Giveaways That Someone Grew Up Poor Long After Escaping Poverty

woman stressed shutterstock 192268697

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Being poor is not a choice but often a reflection of society and should never be a mark of shame. Those who grew up poor have a mindset that is not easy to shake long after escaping poverty. The residual effects of feeling hunger and cold bring back memories that spurred gratitude, resourcefulness,  and nostalgia by some who shared their experiences on a popular online community, answering, What are dead giveaways that someone grew up poor?” I recognized similar incidents familiar to me, bringing back memories from my upbringing.

11 Tiny Luxuries We’d Savor if We Struck It Rich

Woman with money

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

What small item of luxury would you buy if you won a multimillion-dollar jackpot tonight? What minor yet profound indulgence would you spend your newfound wealth on? Most people would want to jump out of debt and buy a posh house by the sea where the wind gently pushes off the window panes in summertime reverie, but if you were confined to only the little luxurious things, what tiny special treats would you savor if money stopped being an issue? Someone on a money forum wanted to know what small luxury people would cash in on if they suddenly hit gold, and we consider these the funniest and most thoughtful responses on the thread.

Baby On A Budget – How to Dodge 10 Costly Pitfalls

Happy new parents with baby

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Let’s be honest: Having a kid is becoming more expensive as the years go by! Recently, men and women met online to reveal how to dodge costly parenthood pitfalls. Whether it’s genius money-saving strategies, avoiding costly baby purchases, or simply purchasing sensible things for your child, here is how to be a parent and not go broke.

10 Things To Always Buy On the Cheap Because It’s Not Worth Spending More

Woman buying olive oil shutterstock MSN

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Every time you decide to leave your house to make a trip to the grocery store or eat out, you’re making a conscious decision: to save money or not. Thanks to inflation, a trip to the grocery store will cost you more than ever before, and that’s why it’s so essential to make money-savvy decisions every chance you get.

Leave a Comment