With the holiday season in full effect, people are starting to shell out serious cash for gifts. Holiday shopping can be stressful and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. The following tips will help you save money (and your sanity) as you begin your holiday shopping:
1. Write a list (and stick to it)
Have you ever gone grocery shopping only to forget your grocery list? This usually ends in spending more money than you intended– how annoying. This is why it’s important to make a list of the people you need to purchase gifts for (and it would help not to forget the list at home) and what the gift would be. Many times by doing this you would be able to find a really good gift like the best hot air brush for hair for as low as $11.99
2. Have a Gift in Mind
Having an idea of what to buy people makes shopping much easier—you waste less time aimlessly looking for the perfect gift, and ultimately, you save money. If you have an idea of what you would like to buy for certain people, write it down on the list next to their name, along with the amount of money you’re willing to spend. Stick to people you really need/want to buy gifts for; don’t feel bad if you can’t buy something for the girl who helped you with your biology homework once. Only spend money on what’s necessary. Look for gift ideas online that are specific to groups. You can check out the gifts for college students here.
3. Look for deals
Whether it’s online or in-store, there are guaranteed to be great deals on gifts. This is why it’s important to have an idea about what you need to buy for each person; this way you can search for deals online, in the newspaper, etc and compare prices—which could save you anywhere from a couple of bucks to 80% off the original price. Check out sites like Overstock.com, Amazon.com, and Ebay.com for deals.
4. Paper, Not Plastic
As tempting (and convenient) as it is to swipe your debit or credit card for purchases, it’s best to use cash because once it’s spent, that’s it– no room for overspending. Setting aside the amount of cash that you are willing to spend disables you from spending extraneous amounts of money on your card. If you find a great deal online, of course you’ll have to use your card, but for in-store purchases, leave your card at home, and shop with cash.
5. Take Advantage of Your Skills
If you’re the best knitter that you know, knit scarves, hats, etc for your friends and family. If you have a way with words, make customized poems, have them printed on large paper and framed. Be creative. You don’t have to spend an obscene amount of money to show someone how much you care. Often times, it is the unique, crafty gifts that people cherish the most.
6. Don’t Stress Out
It’s OK to shop until the last weeks of December—some of the best deals happen weeks before Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you should put off all of your shopping until then. Give yourself enough time to shop without feeling stressed because you waited until the last minute to do everything. When it comes to holiday shopping, procrastination is not your friend. The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time for everyone, so don’t let shopping drive you crazy.