This post was sponsored by Affirm. 

It’s quite baffling how the holidays occur every year, yet often catch us unprepared, leaving us to scramble at the last minute for gifts. There is no question that this holiday season will look different than those of the past. Despite that, people aren’t giving up gift-giving, they’re just doing it differently. In a recent study conducted by Affirm, nearly half (48%) of those surveyed said they will do their holiday shopping online this year.

Regardless of your plans, you’ll still want to keep your budget in mind so that you can show your appreciation to those you love without feeling financially vulnerable and unprepared for what 2021 might have in store. Here are my tips for staying within your budget while holiday shopping this year.

  1. Use an Option that Allows You To Pay At Your Own Pace

More and more consumers are opting for buy now, pay later options and understandably so. If you select a pay-over-time option that’s transparent, like Affirm, it is also a solid alternative to costly credit cards. Pay-over-time options are not all alike, so make sure you read the fine print. Affirm has provided flexible payment options to more than 5.6 million consumers. Unlike payment options that have late fees, compounding interest and unexpected costs, Affirm shows customers upfront exactly what they’ll pay — with no hidden fees and no surprises. Affirm is available at checkout at over 6,500 merchants in the U.S. You can see where Affirm is available and learn more about them here.

2. Create Your List and Stick To It

Santa shouldn’t be the only one checking his list twice. It’s easier to remain within budget when you have a solid spending plan in place. Rather than buying on a whim or emotion, buy with intention. Prior to doing your holiday shopping make a list of everyone you plan to purchase for and stick to it. Decide on how many gifts you will be getting them and set a monetary limit for each person. 

3.Give a Group Gift

You can get more bang for your buck combining your money with others to purchase a gift for someone. For example my sister and I often split the costs of our parents’ gifts. One person is identified as the buyer and everyone contributes an equal portion or what they can afford so that the buyer can purchase the gift. I have also done this with co-workers. This strategy is great for year round occasions including birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and any other celebration that calls for gifts. 

4.Communicate Clear Boundaries and Abilities

In some instances you just might not be able to afford to give gifts and that’s okay too. It is completely up to you whether or not you communicate your financial situation to others but it might be appreciated and could also save them the trouble of spending money on a gift for you, expecting one in return. A few years ago while paying for our wedding my husband and I clearly communicated to one another that we would not be exchanging gifts due to the costs of our upcoming wedding.

When it comes to the holidays you have options. Whether it’s paying with Affirm, choosing an option that fits your  income and budget, or foregoing gift giving all together it is a personal decision. Whatever you may decide, I wish you a happy holiday filled with love and peace.

Lifestyle

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Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.