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Pioneer Blog

Saving Money While Gift Shopping During the Holidays

Posted on November 26, 2018

family open presentsDuring the holidays, it's easy to get into the spirit and lose track of what we're spending. Sometimes we think just one extra gift won't hurt, but your pocketbook would beg to differ. We've pooled together some tips to help you stay on track and celebrate the holidays with minimal financial regrets!

Plan Ahead

Make your list and check it twice! Nail down your gift list and stick to it. Give gifts that show your friends and family members that you really know and care about them. Don't give a gift just to give one.

By planning ahead, you'll shop with a purpose and lower the chances of picking up gifts you don't need. The earlier you plan out your gift list, the less stressed you'll be as the holidays get even closer. Instead of joining the shopping madness at the end of December, you can stay warm and cozy at home.

Go For Homemade

We've all heard that the best gifts come from the heart. Create something that shows effort and care for your loved ones!

If you're looking for inspiration, the internet is full of it. Pinterest, Instagram, and DIY blogs all have ideas of crafty and useful gifts you can make yourself. You can even watch YouTube videos that break down what to do step by step, meaning even if you don't think you're crafty, you can make some amazing gifts. 

Use Cold, Hard Cash

Man's wallet with cashIt's easy to get carried away with spending, especially on gifts for others. When using a credit or debit card, many lose track of how much they've already spent and end up buying too much.

Set a spending budget and use a cash-only system to stick to it. Make a commitment not to use your card for holiday shopping and stop when the green runs out.

Shop the Sales

The holiday season is also the time of killer sales. Every store, from local chains to massive online retailers, put big discounts of everything they sell. Keep an eye on local shopping ads and look into ways you can get items on your gift list for cheap.

Comparison shop on every item in your gift list. Don't just trust that a sale at one store means it's the cheapest place to pick it up. Even a quick search on your smartphone while at the store could lead to finding the same item for less at another store.

Hunt for Rebates and Rewards

Especially if you are buying electronics, appliances, mattresses, or similar larger items, watch out for rebate and reward offers. Many stores and manufacturers offer rebates, sometimes up to $1000 back, that can really help out with post holiday expenses. Just be sure that you qualify for the rebate and take the steps necessary to give your money back.

Similarly, some stores offer rewards for doing your holiday shopping with them, like in-store credit, additional coupons, exclusive deals, and more. This might require signing up for a store credit card though, so make sure you understand the terms of it and that you pay it off when it comes due.

Pioneer also offers rewards on purchases made with Pioneer debit and credit cards. You can earn points towards a vacation, gift cards, or extra gifts. Learn more about the Rewards! program and what you need to do to earn points through Pioneer.

Re-Gifting Works

Some might claim it's tacky, but re-gifting is a great way to save money while still giving nice gifts. Take a look around your house. Is there a gift you've received but never used? Do you have something sentimental that would mean the world to a loved one? Ask yourself what you could part with and if that would make a good gift for the holiday.

Pioneer Helping You Save Money

The holidays are always filled with cheer, but also full of surprises. Whether it's having to buy a few extra gifts you didn't account for or paying an unexpected bill, you might find your money stretched a little thin during the month.

If you do find yourself in a tight spot, you can skip one of your Pioneer payments in the month of December (or anytime, really) to free up some funds. Your payment will start back up the next month like you didn't miss a thing. Just be sure that you qualify for the Skip-a-Payment program, as not every member automatically qualifies.

Want to learn more about how to Skip-a-Payment? Click here to get the lowdown on it and how to apply.

While not very useful this holiday season, Pioneer also offers a savings program called ChangeForward. It works by rounding up every purchase you make with your Pioneer debit card to the nearest dollar amount and then moves the change to a specific savings account. That means, next holiday season, you've got some extra cash for gifts and expenses. 

Learn more about the ChangeForward program here and how to sign up!

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