The Christmas season is right around the corner, and while this should be a time of relaxation and recuperation, for most of us, it’s one of the most stressful times of the year. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With a little bit of planning, you can save money (and hopefully time) on shopping this year. Just follow these 5 smart holiday shopping tips.
- Start early
This is by far the most important tip. And while Christmas is almost 2 months away, trust us, it’s never too early to start your holiday shopping. By beginning the process as soon as you’re able, you can take advantage of opportunities such as traveling or unexpected promotions.
- Set a budget
This may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people attempt to save money without actually setting a budget. Take the time to write out how much you want to spend on all your gifts in total, then break out the costs per gift. Be as realistic as possible, and once you’ve set your budget, stick to it.
- Make a list
First, make a list of everyone you will be buying a gift for, then take the time to plan out 1-3 options of what you actually want to buy for them. Having a list of the specific items you need to buy will once again allow you to take advantage of opportunities like when you’re out and about and discover special discounts.
- Take advantage of online shopping
The world of online shopping is one of convenience and in many cases, affordability. Shopping online allows you to price compare, do your research, and often find the best value for what you looking for. Again, this only works if you give yourself time. Waiting till last minute means you have to hit the busy stores and often end up settling for items outside of your budget.
- Make something
Once again, this one goes back to time. Handmade gifts are often the most treasured by the ones receiving as they are well thought out and show you were willing to put time and effort into a gift. It just so happens that they are also an extremely affordable alternative to store bought gifts.
As much as we can all get caught up in giving (and receiving) the perfect gift, it’s always important to stop and remember what the holiday season is all about. We hope these tips will help lighten the financial load of gift-giving, so you can stress less and focus more on your loved ones this Christmas.