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Are You an Organized Consumer? What Your Holiday Shopping Says About You

Steal these savvy habits to get on top of your shopping this holiday season.
Savannah Sher Avatar
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The holiday season is in full swing, and if you’re like many Americans, you’ve already started shopping. But what type of holiday shopper are you? With a recession affecting budgets across the country, holiday spending may look a little different this year, but some shoppers have figured out how to maximize their spending power without going over budget.

Accenture’s 16th Annual Holiday Shopping Survey found an emerging group of shoppers who they labeled as “organized consumers.” So, how can you become an organized consumer? Start by sticking to the following “rules.”

You might be an organized consumer if…

You plan purchases ahead of time.

Many people consider Thanksgiving to be the official kickoff to the holiday season, but organized consumers start planning long before it’s time to carve the turkey. While more impulsive consumers tend to procrastinate and make last-minute decisions about holiday decor, food, and gift purchases, organized consumers know exactly what they need to purchase and make a plan to get those specific items.

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You start shopping early.

Not only do organized consumers begin to plan early, they start shopping early. How early exactly? The data might surprise you. The Accenture survey found that 45 percent of the people they identified as organized consumers actually started their holiday shopping in August. While this may seem surprising, this type of shopper chooses to spread out their purchases over several months rather than spending all at once. In fact, about 16 percent of these shoppers actually began their holiday shopping early in 2022 when last season’s holiday sales were taking place.

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iStock-1434348016 holiday shopping woman checking bills for christmas gifts
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You stick to a strict budget.

While individual holiday budgets can vary widely from person to person, there’s one thing that all organized consumers have in common: They make a strict budget, and they know how to stick to it. Organized consumers plan out their spending and avoid money-wasting pitfalls that are common around the holidays.

To stick to the budget when planning out gift purchases, try setting up a spreadsheet and creating tabs for each person on your list, featuring the gifts you’re considering buying. Include columns with prices from different retailers so that you can get an idea of where to follow up on the best deals.

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You wait for sales.

The savviest consumers know that almost everything goes on sale at some point, so they bide their time and wait until the product they’re shopping for is available at a lower price. Most brands feature big sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but other discounts occur at various points throughout the year. Organized consumers keep an eye out for coupons and discount codes and know how to stack them when possible. Consider using a price-tracking app that will send an alert when a product you’re watching drops in price.

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iStock-1351542190 holiday shopping man buying gifts online
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You shop online.

The pandemic created an entirely new generation of online shoppers who prefer getting their holiday shopping done from the comfort of their homes. Shopping online makes it much easier to compare prices from different retailers and reduces the desire for impulse buying and unnecessary add-ons. Since organized consumers know exactly what they’re looking for, they don’t need to wander around a mall hoping that inspiration will strike.

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iStock-1289003965 holiday shopping woman making christmas gifts
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You thrift and DIY.

Organized consumers know how to think outside the box, and their shopping and gifting strategies often involve DIY projects and shopping secondhand. Handmade gifts and decorations have a personal touch that can’t be recreated with commercially purchased products and are sure to impress.

While not everyone on your list will appreciate a thrifted Christmas gift, many would be thrilled to receive vintage home goods or accessories, which might cost less than their contemporary counterparts. Stocking stuffers are another area in which you can thoughtfully regift or DIY. When it comes to holiday gatherings, organized consumers know that homemade food not only tastes best, but is the most affordable option.

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