Do you get stressed out during the holiday season? End up spending too much. Does the thought of having to go out and get “just one more present” set your nerves a’ tingle. There is no reason for any of this.
The Christmas season is supposed to be a time of rest and relaxation. Sitting by a crackling fireplace with a good book. Not out trudging through the slush to buy a knit sweater for Auntie Mae, whom you seem to have forgotten. So, sit down boys and girls, while I tell you some shopping tips; things you need to consider before the holiday rush begins. When you are sitting by your crackling fire, rather than rushing out into the blustery sleet, you will be glad you listened:
Set a budget
Times are tough enough. Figure out how much you want to spend and make that the limit. Be firm. You may even want to set up a family/friend gifting circle. This is where everyone draws a name and people only by presents for the peoples whose names are drawn (with rough price guidelines). Doing this people will get one decent present rather than a collection of little tokens.
Fail to plan; Plan to Fail: Make a list.
Even Santa makes a list and checks it twice. Are you better than Santa? Put everyone who you plan on getting a present for on a list. Compare to the budgets and affix a price per person. Double check the list again to make sure that you do not forget anybody.
Put off Procrastination
Don’t wait until the last minute. This can easily get you to pay two to three times what you would have spent with some careful planning. It also keeps you from rushing out on that crowded sleet filled night before Christmas.
Use Coupons and Sales
There is a lot to be said for working to save a few dollars. With a little bit of work you can save a lot. Since you have your list write down what you want for people and price ranges early. Then keep looking for those deals. You more likely time to find these deals will be on, Black Friday and Cyber Monday; the two biggest shopping days of the year. One for brick-and-mortar stores (Black Friday) one for online stores (Cyber Monday).
Outside of Black Friday in general you may find your best deals online. There is the ability to shop from hundreds (even thousands) of locations looking for the very best deal. Some might even be thousands of miles from your home. Your chance of finding the greatest deal this way improves dramatically.
When shopping online make sure there is free shipping. Or at least that the price of shipping is low and does not wipe out any, “bargain” you get. This is part of the reason Amazon is so popular. They have Amazon Prime, which always gives free shipping and then they also offer free shipping for more expensive purchases.
Have you learned your shopping tips?
None of these tips were revolutionary. You likely knew all of them from the beginning. Knowing them and acting on them are two different things. Let me say one last time that the time you will really appreciate these shopping tips is the time of, “lack”. The time of lack is when, right before the holidays you lack stress, lack worry and perhaps most importantly, don’t lack money.
With your significant savings and joy in your stress free heart take a moment to think about giving to great charity and spreading the real messages of the season: Good will and Happiness to others. Have a great Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas.