If you are reading this post before heading out for the Boxing Day shopping, then have a great day!
Otherwise, this post is more of a post-Boxing Day theme. Hopefully everyone came home happy with their purchases, but if you came home with some regrets, below are some tips to prepare for next year, as I did last year.
Have your credit card portfolio ready. You have all year to prepare your optimal credit card portfolio. For newbies, I suggest that you read our Pointshogger 101 first. You can be sure that I will be switching around different credit cards, depending on which retailer I am at, to optimize earning rewards. One strategy that I like to do is to sign up for a new credit card just a month or so before the holidays, so that I can use that credit card to reach a certain minimum spending to qualify for a sign up bonus. This is a great way to help you reach a minimum spending, that you may have more difficulty to reach during the year.
Build a running shopping list. This is a list of items that are not urgent. Throughout the year, as you identify things that you want to replace around the house, or nice to have things that do not need to be purchases imminently. Have your shopping list ready for next year so that you are not scrambling from store to store just browsing around. You will know exactly where you need to go, so that you are more efficient. Yes, I always plan my shopping route before I head to the mall or shopping outlets (in the U.S.).
Sign up for all the relevant loyalty programs. Don’t miss out on valuable points. Even if you only shop at a specific store once or twice a year. Most often, that’s all the activity you need to keep your account active anyway. Those points will come in handy at some point.
Set a budget. It is never too soon to plan your budget for Boxing Day. As the year goes on, you will have an idea on how much money you can free up for Christmas and Boxing Day shopping. If you plan ahead of time, you will have less chance of going over budget. If you feel like you will not have enough money to fill your budget, then you have time to consider options to make more money.
If you need help figuring out what loyalty programs are out there, check out the Topics list on our site so that you can read some of our analysis of each program.