(BPT) - From holiday shopping and gift-giving to hosting festivities in-person or virtually, people are eagerly embracing the 2021 holiday season. But just how much jingle are people spending to be jolly? Consumers will spend an average of $1,447 on gifts, travel and entertainment this year, according to PWC research.
It’s a joyful time, but it can also be stressful — especially if money is tight. Luckily, it’s possible for everyone to enjoy the holidays and stick to a budget. All it takes is a bit of planning and a bargain-hunter’s mindset. Consider these tips for maximizing your budget so you can enjoy a season full of merriment:
1. Make a budget and shop holiday deals
A budget will be your best friend during the holiday season. You don't need to go into debt to have a happy holiday! Figure out how much you can realistically spend on gifts, and split that total up equally amongst the people you want to treat this year. Then, filter by price when shopping online to help you stick to that amount.
Amazon customers can shop with confidence that they’re getting low prices on the products they need and want, whether they’re shopping for themselves or taking advantage of early savings on gifts for friends and family throughout the holiday season.
2. Save with an Amazon Prime membership
In addition to Amazon’s everyday low prices, Amazon Prime members enjoy benefits like fast and free delivery, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Video, access to more than 3,000 books and magazines with Prime Reading, exclusive discounts, early access to select deals and more.
And did you know that Amazon offers a discounted Prime membership for select government assistance recipients for just $5.99 per month? That’s all of the shopping, savings and entertainment benefits of Prime at half the price. To learn more or start a 30-day free trial just in time for the holidays, visit Amazon.com/primediscount. Plus, SNAP EBT beneficiaries in 46 states and Washington, D.C. can also use their nutrition assistance benefits to order eligible groceries online from Amazon.com and Amazon Fresh, so you can still save big while getting everything you need delivered.
3. Opt for low-cost/free entertainment
You don't have to spend money to make memories. Many holiday traditions cost little to nothing and often are the most meaningful. You can even make a holiday bucket list of things everyone wants to do before the end of the year.
Need ideas? Try singing classic carols, turn on some modern tunes and have a festive dance party, or select a festive show for a merry movie night. Amazon Music and Prime Video, which offer thousands of shows and movies and millions of songs all included with your Prime membership, are great ways to indulge in the season at no extra cost.
4. Consider a virtual gift exchange
Make a list of everyone on your gift list and organize them into groups. This may include family, friends, colleagues, teachers, neighbors, community members and more. For big families or larger groups, consider proposing a secret Santa or name exchange so you gift one person rather than everyone, helping everyone in the group to save.
No address for the person you’re gifting? No problem. New this year, Prime members can send surprise gifts just by providing just a phone number or email address. Using the Amazon mobile app, simply select the product to gift, select “add gift receipt for easy returns” during checkout, then type in a known email address or mobile number of the recipient. That individual can either accept the purchase or exchange for a gift card, without letting the sender know they did.