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Oahu financial professional offers advice to help save money on holiday shopping

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Black Friday Shopping Target

The Thanksgiving holiday is all that is standing between us and Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. While the global pandemic continues to take a financial toll on the world, the idea of holiday shopping may be creating more stress than normal.

HONOLULU (KITV4) -- The Thanksgiving holiday is all that is standing between us and Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

While the global pandemic continues to take a financial toll on the world, the idea of holiday shopping may be creating more stress than normal. But you don't have to let those holiday gifts break your bank, even during the pandemic.

“When we are looking for gifts, we create an unachievable expectation of the type of gift people want from us,” said Caine Nakata, president of Milestone Wealth Management.

Nakata says the first step in not breaking the bank is to make a plan. Figure out who is on your gift list, set a budget and stick to it.

“If we maybe want to buy someone an electronic, look at different electronics within that budget we created and price things out,” he said.

If you need extra money, you may be sitting on it.

“The average person actually wastes $10 a day. They've done a study where we walk into a store and we buy things we don't need,” Nakata said.

And if those Black Friday deals still seem a bit steep, Nakata says the supply chain is to blame. But that could soon change.

“As supply chains begin to roll in closer to December, and they have to move that merchandise, those prices may actually come down even lower,” he said.

But at the end of the day, Nakata says the most important thing to remember is this.

“When we shop within our means, we feel good and they feel good. Whether we know it or not, a lot of people understand what our finances and situation really is and they know if we are buying within our means. I have yet to give a gift and have someone feel I should have bought them a better gift,” Nakata said.

Here is some more advice Nakata gave on more ways to save money this holiday season:

Q: HOW IS BLACK FRIDAY AND SMALL BUSINESS SHOPPING DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?

  • Many big box retailers released their Black Friday deals in October.
  • Because of supply chain issues and a shortage of workers, more shoppers are checking off their lists early and experts say you shouldn’t wait.
  • Online and hybrid shopping options are still available for shoppers and are expected to still be popular despite brick and mortar stores reopening their doors.
  • A new survey found 46% of shoppers plan to use contactless options for their holiday shopping.
  • Don't forget about Small Business Saturday! The same survey found 56% of consumers are expected to shop at more local and independent stores this holiday season.

Q: WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO BEFORE WE START SHOPPING?

  • Make a Plan
  • Take inventory of who you're shopping for, what you’re planning to buy and how much you can afford to spend.
  • I tell my clients putting a plan in writing helps you stay focused.
  • Whether it’s your retirement plan, a monthly budget or your holiday gift plan, write it down!
  • If you need a place to start, I have a holiday budget worksheet on my website, http://www.milestonecoach.com/

Take Your Time

  • To avoid impulse purchases, don’t store your bank information on any online shopping websites.
  • It’s easy to buy a lot without realizing how much you are spending.
  • If you are buying presents for yourself, take time to ask yourself some questions and decide if the purchase is a “want” or a “need”.
  • If you want to buy something, wait 24 hours before clicking the order button or heading to the store.

Q: WHAT SHOULD WE BE DOING WHILE WE ARE SHOPPING?

Be Aware of Scams

  • Be aware of online shopping scams! Online scams make up a third of reporter scams and 1 in 5 people who reported these scams lost money.
  • Especially as we deal with supply chain issues, scammers are placing fake ads for products in high demand on social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram.
  • People are then redirected to a website where they can purchase the item. Many people don't realize it's a scam until they don't receive the item they ordered.

Double Check Deals

  • Not all items are deeply discounted on Black Friday, so don’t fall for the hype.
  • Do some online research to check the original price of the gifts you’re buying; also check other retailers to see what that item is selling for. Compare that to the sale price to see if it really is a great deal.
  • Retailers also offer limited-time sales. For example, the special price on that big screen TV might expire at midnight. Double check the items you’re buying to make sure you’re getting the right price and that it fits in your budget.

Q: WHAT SHOULD WE DO AFTER WE’VE CHECKED OFF OUR LIST?

  • Gather all your receipts and compare what you spent to your budget. If you stuck to these tips, you likely saved money and now is the time to celebrate!
  • Take that extra money you saved and put it in your savings or retirement fund.
  • It’s also important to keep receipts for exchanges and returns! You might find a bigger discount closer to Christmas Day, and your receipt will be essential to get a price adjustment.

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