Consumers can start holiday shopping now to save money

It may not yet be the traditional time for consumers to really start thinking about their holiday shopping lists, but experts generally advise that the earlier a person starts to at least plan how this is going to go, the better off they're going to be. That's because they may develop a better idea of what's a realistic goal to seek, or start setting aside a bit of money to help themselves better afford the usually high cost associated with this kind of shopping.

Indeed, financial experts say that the best way to start holiday shopping plans is to simply make a list of what one might want to buy for the people in his or her life, and then stick to that list very closely, according to a report from Buffalo, N.Y., television station WKBW. Generally, this helps to give the person a good idea of what they want to buy, and for whom, along with what it's all going to cost them. That further helps them to avoid impulse purchases that can significantly add to the cost of the whole endeavor.

Why else is this smart?
In addition to all this, making a list allows people months of lead time in which they can start comparison shopping, and potentially find the best possible deals on the items they want to buy before the crazy rush around Thanksgiving that traditionally kicks off the buying season, the report said. And with all this in mind, that will really help to set a budget, and potentially allow shoppers beat their own estimates to save even more money.

In addition, it might allow people to find some online mailing lists or social media sites that help them track down even better deals than they might be able to find themselves, the report said. There are huge communities of money-saving fanatics online who are always more than happy to share tips and tricks with novices.

Beating Black Friday
Of course, people who like to buy holiday gifts closer to the actual season itself are usually very interested in the deals that become available on Black Friday, and sales for that shopping day are coming earlier and earlier each year, the report said. However, some items just aren't going to be discounted for these events at all, and as such, waiting to buy them - just to see if they'll go on sale - often isn't that good of an idea. Familiarizing oneself with which items are never put up for Black Friday discounts might go a long way toward helping to get the saving process started as early as possible.

The more money consumers save, the more they may be able to free up to devote to other important financial considerations in their lives, such as paying down debts or building savings accounts for a rainy day. That, in turn, is likely to put them on far more solid financial ground as they go forward.

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