Holiday shopping can be stressful; more than 50% of shoppers sometimes feel buyer’s remorse. Here are some tips so that you can have a warm and bright Christmas… without crashing into January with no money in your pockets.
Start with the most important people – immediate family, romantic partners, closest friends. Don’t be afraid to remove people from your shopping list. If you’re not particularly close to a person, then you certainly don’t need to buy them a gift.
First, work out how much money you can afford to spend in total. Don’t forget that you may have other Christmas expenses in addition to gifts! Once you’ve got a total, decide how you are going to allocate it. For example, you can spend 25% on your partner, 25% on your kids, 30% on your parents and 20% on your friends.
You’re armed with your list… but there’s a cute mug on sale that doesn’t cost that much and you know your neighbour’s sister will love it. Resist. You’d be surprised at how quickly these “small” gifts can add up. You went through all the trouble to make to a list, now stick to it.
You want company… we understand. But shopping with someone else makes it easier to overspend. Can’t you hear your Mom now? “That’ll be perfect for your granny. And it’s not that expensive.”
You can get locally-made and affordable gifts in pop-up shops or Christmas markets in your area. These vendors don’t have to pay mall-rent so their prices will probably be more affordable and – as an added bonus – there may be some truly unique finds.
Do all your siblings buy separate gifts for your parents? Why not pool your financial resources; you can get them a marquee present and you’re contributing less than if you each bought an individual gift.
You don’t have to give a store-bought gift. Maybe you can cook a nice meal for loved ones, write a poem, make something. People will probably appreciate that you spent a lot more time than simply handing over cash in a store.
How many cards do you keep? Your boyfriend’s? Naturally! Your mother’s? Of course! Where’s the card from the lady in the office across the hall? The cost of cards can sneak up on you. Save cards for the top tier people in your life.
You may not be the only one trying to save money. Maybe your friends are in the same boat. You may agree to go out for lunch instead of buying gifts for everyone in your friend-group. Or how about a secret Santa? That way each person only has to buy one present.
So, you got four presents for your kid. Don’t stuff them all in one bag. Wrap the truck and put a big bow on it! Wrap the book separately. Having more gifts to open makes it seem like there are more presents.
It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve still got gifts to purchase. Chances are, you’re rushing and therefore buying whatever’s easiest. When you start shopping early, you can take advantage of sales and look around to make sure you get the best deal.
We can become preoccupied with the material aspect of Christmas. But the holiday is about family, peace and love. If you’re not where you want to be financially, no one who loves you will want you to take on debt to buy them the perfect present.
Being careful with Christmas spending is the gift that you give yourself! Hopefully, these tips will help you to start 2020 with a warm glow from Christmas and no outstanding bills to pay.