Thinking About the Holidays Now Might Actually Be In Your Favor
by Quinisha Jackson-Wright
October 21, 2019 .2 min read
If you’re not regularly tuned into the news, your reaction if someone asks you about the Trade War might be, “What Trade War?”
The CliffsNotes version is that Donald Trump recently imposed an increase in tariffs on Chinese imports in September. What this means is everyday household products will be more expensive for American consumers, including items such as shoes, toys, clothing, and kitchen appliances.
While the increased tariffs affect the costs of these products overall, prices are expected to skyrocket at the peak of the holiday season. This is bad news if you’re a holiday shopper on a budget and plan to buy most gifts during November and December.
You might be on the verge of panic if this is the first time you’re hearing about this. Not to worry. There are a few things you can do to get your holiday shopping done and protect yourself from any extra financial burden.
Buy Big-Ticket Items Now
It’s tempting to wait until a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale to buy a new smartphone or other electronic gadgets for loved ones. However, your best bet is to purchase those items way ahead of the holiday season.
If you’re able to, start looking at the prices of big-ticket items and plan to purchase them as soon as possible.
Stock Up on Essentials
Not only can you expect to see higher prices on smartphones and laptops, but the costs of everyday items such as toothbrushes and milk are also expected to increase. Now is the time to stock up on as many household products as you can. If you don’t already have a membership with a store like Costco or Sam’s Club, consider signing up so you can get all of the items you need in bulk.
Consider Intangible Gifts
If your budget is stretched as far is it can go, you might not have the funds to buy a lot of gifts ahead of time. For anyone who enjoys gift-giving during the holiday season, this can be incredibly stressful and frustrating. All is not lost though.
Think of gifting your friends and family with experiences rather than physical items this holiday season. Just a few ideas include things like tickets to a concert or play, a surprise spa day, or if you know someone really adventurous, parasailing or hang gliding.
The gift can be as simple or extravagant as you can afford, but the purpose is to get creative and do something that's unique for your loved ones. A shiny new smartphone might seem like the best gift to give, but a once-in-a-lifetime experience is priceless.
While the Trade War has the potential to incur more financial stress for many Americans, don’t let it define your holiday season. What’s most important is to be informed about what’s going on in the world, then plan out a strategy so you can still enjoy the holidays with those you love most.
Quinisha is a freelance writer, U.S. Navy Veteran, and part-time Staff Writer with The Muse. She writes about topics on career development, diversity and inclusion, and financial literacy for entry and mid-level professionals. You can follow her on Twitter @KWright0702.