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With prices climbing and the cost of living on the rise, many Canadians are planning to scale back their holiday spending this year. 
As we head into Black Friday and kick-off the holiday shopping season, here are some tips for taking control of your spending while keeping the holidays merry and bright.
- Create a holiday budget and check it twice
Create a budget and stick to it. Make sure you include your gift giving list, entertaining costs, travel expenses, host gifts, and any extras like the office or family Secret Santa exchange.
- Compare prices between retailers
Do your research! Shopping around is one of the best ways to save money during the holiday season, and helps you get the most out of your budget. Apps like Flipp can help you find weekly savings and deals, and many retailers offer price matching services that can save you money.
- Beware of overspending on ‘deals’
Keep in mind that advertised ‘deals’ such as special edition gift sets, flash sales or “buy 2, get 1 free” specials won’t save you money if you end up spending more than you budgeted.
- Consider downsizing your list
Think about trimming your list to immediate family and close friends. If your list is still too long, consider organizing a family or group Secret Santa gift exchange with a maximum budget. Apps like Drawnames or Elfster can help you set up the gift list! You’ll spend less, and reduce the stress of huge gift list.
- Consider other ways to give
Get creative and think about other ways to give. Gifts of time or homemade items will be treasured by your friends and family.
- Use a rewards credit card to earn cash back or points
As long as you pay off your credit card balance in full every month, using a cashback or travel credit card will help you get added value on your purchases. You can earn cash back or points on the money you’ve already accounted for in your budget.
- Pay with your Alterna debit card to take advantage of our Buyer Protection and Extended Warranty programs
Buyer Protection offers protection on the purchase of most retail items – and that includes gifts! For a full 120 days after the purchase, any item purchase with your Alterna debit card is protected if it’s lost, stolen, dropped, broken or even consumed in a fire. Our Extended Warranty doubles the warranty period of a purchase of up to two years, as long as the manufacturer’s warranty is valid in Canada for five years or less.
- Don’t do your shopping last minute
Starting your shopping early means you’ll have time to look for the best price, and reconsider your plans if your gift idea is outside your budget. It also ensures that anything you buy online will arrive in time for the holidays.