The holiday season is fast approaching! Time for seasonal decorations, spending time with family and friends, and of course, presents all around. Got to shop for your family and friends. Then there’s the office gift exchange, and your aunt and uncle and cousins are coming over, don’t forget about them. Oh, and did you get something for your kids’ teachers and school staff?
It’s no surprise if this all starts making you more than a little bit stressed. A recent PayPal survey found one in five respondents are feeling anxious about holiday shopping this year.1 However, PayPal has your back with expert tips from Michael Rodriguez, a Chicago-based accountant and self-professed PayPal “superuser”, especially when it comes to rewards — the same PayPal survey showed that 39% of respondents plan to use rewards and cashback to buy gifts for others this holiday season.
“I’m a competitive guy, so I love the feeling of winning, of knowing I got the best possible deal,” Michael said. “I also love sharing what I’ve learned, instead of gatekeeping things, so any chance I get, I tell my siblings, friends how to stack rewards and save money.”
Check out Michael's tips and tricks in the below video, and read on for more of his rewards stacking advice.
Michael Rodriguez knows how to find a good deal using PayPal and PayPal Honey.
Once the holiday season comes around, it can feel as if there’s very little time to do everything we need to do, including shopping and looking for the best deal. With the PayPal Honey browser extension, you can shop online and get alerted when there are coupon codes or promotions available to use.
“I used to Google coupon codes, look through different pages, and then try them out manually,” said Michael. “Honey saves me so much time; I’m no longer looking for promo codes on the internet, Honey just cuts all that down and does it for me.”
PayPal Honey can track the price history of any presents you might be shopping for online and displays that information for you to see. “I’m an accountant by trade, so I love me a good graph,” said Michael with a laugh. “It’s awesome to see if an item’s price has gone up or down and figure out whether or not it’s a good time to buy it.”
Additionally, you can add items to your Droplist and get email alerts when something goes on sale. “The Droplist alerts make it easy to buy something at the right time,” said Michael.
“There’s a lot of pressure during the holidays to spend,” said Michael. “Anything that can help save some money while shopping can go a long way towards helping to maximize your dollars.”
To help do this, Michael turns to the PayPal app to discover deals. “I’ll look to see whether or not the store I’m shopping at has any cashback deals,” said Michael. After finding and saving the cashback deal in the PayPal app, he will “use the link to go to the store to shop and earn the cashback reward. The PayPal app will also automatically apply any Honey coupon codes available.”
This strategy, which savvy shoppers call “stacking”, allows Michael to save in different ways on a single purchase.
Michael shared that he's set up
alerts with PayPal Honey for skincare products.
No amount of rewards or cashback offers is going to help if you don’t have a firm grasp on your budget. “For me, it’s a habit,” he said. “Every payday, I have my set budget for the next couple of weeks and I’m disciplined about staying within that.” That includes a fixed amount for treating himself or others.
“Something could be on sale for 50% off, but if it’s outside of your budget, that’s still money you’re spending that you can’t afford,” he explained. “I’ve seen friends pile on credit card debt during the holidays, and that’s something you never want to do.”
Even though we’re just a few weeks away from the holidays, it’s not too late to start planning and finding ways to save. “Even if you haven’t budgeted all year, before the holidays is the perfect time to get started,” said Michael. He recommends getting the PayPal Honey browser extension and downloading the PayPal app to start looking for deals and ways to save.
“One thing that sticks out to me is how easy and user-friendly it is to find rewards and save money using these tools,” he explained. “If it wasn’t so simple, I wouldn’t be using them.”
1 PayPal Holiday Rewards Survey Results, 1,118 U.S. adult respondents, October 2023
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