The cost of living has risen dramatically in 2022. In a reflection of just how much the cost of living has increased over the last year, the Social Security Administration announced a 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment for 2022. That marks the highest adjustment in four decades.
The pinch of inflation has been felt throughout the last year, and that squeeze could feel even tighter as the holiday season draws closer. The holiday season can be an expensive time of year. Holiday celebrants must contend with the costs associated with hosting holiday gatherings, travel and spending nights out celebrating with loved ones.
But the biggest added expense many people must confront during the holiday season is the cost of buying gifts for family and friends. Though inflation might be beyond consumers' control, there are still ways to find bargains when holiday shopping this year.
Start comparison shopping early. In addition to the rising cost of living, modern consumers also must contend with supply shortages and shipping delays. Shopping early is a great way to get around those lingering effects of the pandemic, and it also affords shoppers more time to find great deals.
Comparison shopping sites like Shopzilla.com make it easy to comparison shop by breaking items down into categories and producing a list of vendors and prices for an assortment of products. Utilizing these sites and shopping early is a great way to find bargains.
Shop on consumer holidays. Black Friday used to be the only game in town in regard to holiday bargains. Consumers can still find great deals on Black Friday and also benefit from reduced prices on days such as Cyber Monday and even Prime Day, which is a two-day event from the online retailer Amazon that occurs in summer.
Attend local holiday bazaars and markets. One of the great things about holiday bazaars and markets is that many of the businesses that set up shop at these events are local. They also tend to sell an array of items, including small items that can easily fit into shoppers' holiday budgets.
Pool your resources. Another way to get around rising costs this holiday season is to pool your shopping resources with another friend or family member. The cost of a new tablet for a parent can be easier to bear if it's split with a sibling.
The holiday season could be especially expensive this year, but there are still bargains to be had and ways to rein in costs.