8 apps and web extensions that will help you save money while holiday shopping
The holiday season is in full effect, which means it’s time to spend some much-needed time with the people that you love most. It’s also the time of the year that we tend to spend exorbitant amounts of money on holiday shopping to show everyone our Christmas lists how much they mean to us. In fact, studies show that the average American spends close to $1,000 on gifts every holiday season—from your office’s “secret Santa” to the long list of friends and family you want to spoil, overspending on holiday gifts is almost inevitable. Fortunately for us all, there are many apps and online tools that can help us get through the holidays without a depleted savings account, post-holiday debt, or buyers’ remorse.
Determining a budget and adequately planning your holiday spending is the only way to avoid overspending due to impulse buying. There’s still plenty of time to prep for your Christmas shopping—that’s why we’ve found some of the best tools for you to use this season. Make a list, check it twice, and use the money-saving apps and tools that we’ve listed in this guide to get the most bang for your buck this season.
There’s no excuse to pay full price for any item when there are discount just clicks away. However, it can become a bit of a daunting, time-consuming task to comb through the interwebs to find the biggest discount available. Thanks to the Honey web plugin, you can get coupon codes for anything without really trying. All you have to do is install the plugin to your browser, shop on your favorite sites, and discounts will automatically generate for you.
Do you wish that gift card that’s been burning a hole in your pocket could magically turn into cash to put towards your holiday spending? Well, that’s possible thanks to this gift card reselling site, Raise. Instead of letting unwanted gift cards go another day unused, you can sell it to someone who would value it. On the flip side, you can also purchase discounted gift cards from popular retailers such as Macy’s, Nike, and Sephora to regift or use towards your shopping!
3Intuit Mint: Budget Tracker & Planner
The reason why we tend to spend so much money during the holidays is that we don’t budget. Budgeting is more than just saying how much you’ll feel comfortable spending—it’s also looking at all of your expenses, income, and debt to determine how much you can realistically spend without it hurting you further down the line. After all, what you’re comfortable spending versus what you can afford are two different things.
An excellent budgeting app to utilize during the holiday season (and at all times) is Mint. This app allows you to see all of your finances in one place by connecting your checking, savings, and other financial accounts through the mobile app. You can also set financial goals for yourself within the app and track your progress. This app may take a little time getting used to, but seeing your money all in one place truly helps you think twice before splurging on holiday presents.
A great way to stick to the budget you create is by utilizing a payment service, like CashApp, as a temporary holiday expense account. You’re probably most familiar with CashApp from using it to send and receive money directly through the app. But did you know you can also sign up for a loadable CashApp card that you can use as a debit card?
Instead of using your primary debit card to do your holiday shopping, transfer your holiday shopping budget to your CashApp and use your CashApp card to purchase holiday presents (or send money to a loved one). CashApp also has some pretty cool cashback offers on things you may use everyday such as Airbnb, AMC Movie Theaters, and Dunkin’ Donuts—it’s worth incorporating CashApp into your everyday life for budgeting purposes.
From experience gifts to discounted beauty products like this DevaCurl No-Poo & Conditioner set, Groupon is a great place to get deals on gifts. All you have to do is browse the site’s categories until you find something that interests you. While you can buy physical items directly on the site, other things such as that spa visit that you’ve been wanting to gift your mom can be purchased in the form of a voucher that must be used by the expiration date. Check in regularly because deals come and go, especially around this time of the year.
Credit cards are no longer the only way to make a purchase without paying upfront. Afterpay is a service that allows you to buy items and pay in four interest-free installments. It’s expanding to include a ton of cool merchants, including some that you may be considering purchasing gifts from this holiday season. The key to using Afterpay responsibly is pushing past the temptation to overspend since you’re not dishing out the cash upfront! It’s an excellent tool for getting holiday gifts early and paying in such a way that it doesn’t affect your ability to pay recurring bills. Unlike a credit card, you’re not spending more than you can afford.
Click here to check out all the sites that currently take AfterPay!
This is yet another service that allows you to purchase items and pay in interest-free installments. Here’s a full list of brands that accept this service—some of our favorites being ASOS, PrettyLittleThing, and Planet Blue.
Thanks to the art of couponing, you can still buy extravagant gifts at deeply discounted prices. Krazy Coupon Lady is an app that makes “obsessive” couponing enjoyable and accessible directly from your mobile device. By using this app, you gain access to couponing tips and deal alerts, resulting in unbelievable discounts.