It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is nearly upon us. And while a lot of people like to wait for Black Friday sales to do their shopping, this year, it will benefit you to get your holiday shopping done early.
Supply Chain Issues
You may have heard about the supply chain issues. What does this mean?
Basically, the production of everything has slowed. In the beginning of the pandemic, many factories around the world were shut down due to COVID-19. Shipping companies cut their schedules in response, not expecting to have as many things to ship. But instead, in countries like the United States, demand for items actually increased – people were spending more time at home and realized they wanted things like home office supplies and exercise equipment. So companies tried to produce and ship, but the shipping industry got all screwed up with a shortage of shipping containers in the right place. As a result, things are out of stock all over the place and it can be hard to get your hands on things.
Recently, we were looking to replace our dishwasher. Most stores didn’t have the product we wanted and wouldn’t have it for at least five months due to supply chain issues. And this is happening with a lot of products, especially things that people want to give as gifts during the holidays. Now, I know what you’re thinking. If it’s not available for five months, I can’t get it in time anyway. And that’s correct. But some items are still in stock – but there isn’t a huge stock. So if you want that gaming system or exercise equipment as a Christmas gift, buy it now. Don’t wait and risk it going out of stock. Get your holiday shopping done early. Plus if something you want ends up out of stock, you’ll have more time to come up with a replacement item.
It seems that every holiday season, package shipping gets delayed. And that’s absolutely true – the sheer number of additional packages in the system are bound to slow it down. But there are planned delays and price increases by USPS as an effort to save money. Additionally, because of the pandemic, people are buying online more than ever, rather than going in person to the store, so that’s even more packages making their way through the system. If you get your holiday shopping done early, you’ll have a much better chance of having those gifts well wrapped under the tree, not sitting in a shipping depot still making their way to your house.
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Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.