How to prepare Christmas gift shopping
The Christmas season is fast approaching. A lot of people are already excited because Christmas is the season of giving. We make a list of family, friends and even clients that will be receiving gifts from us. This season of giving does not come cheap for most of us. Also, you don’t have to dig a hole in your pocket all in the name of on credit. Think about how you will feel when you receive your credit card bill January?
Here are 7 top Christmas money saving tips to help you enjoy the holiday gift giving season without the worry of being hit with a huge credit card bill in January.
Make Christmas gift list and set a budget
To make everything more organised, make a list of all the people you intend to give a present to this Christmas. Set a budget for each person if you can. This way, you’ll be able to keep a tab of everything you spend and not wonder where your money went. After making the list, immediately set aside your budget. It should be the only money you should bring to the mall (aside from food and fare money, of course) to avoid spending on unnecessary things. The reason for this is because there are so many temptations out there that you will end up spending a lot more than you intended if you bring all the money with you.
Try shopping the night before the big sale
Are you ready for the big Christmas sale on Friday? The secret is to shop the store the night before the sale starts, for example on Thursday just before the Black Friday. Many retailers update their systems for the special sale discounts after 6:00 PM the day before the announced sale date. This allows you to take advantage of the lower sales price without fighting the crowds the next morning. Unfortunately, not all large retailers follow this practice, but it may be worth a special trip down to your favourite retailer to test it out.
Personalised and homemade gifts
Christmas time is recognised as a time to spend with family, friends and loved ones, and giving personalised gifts and homemade presents remain a popular thought. The time and effort you spend on creating a gift for someone is a clear indication of how special this person is to you and attach that special personal touch. For those who like to spend time baking and cooking in the kitchen, a bottle filled with all the dry ingredients measured according to a favourite recipe fancy layered in a glass bottle with a wide neck is a most welcome gift.
When you go to the mall to do your shopping, it is better that you go solo. If you bring a friend, there is a huge chance that you’ll end up having spent more than what you intended to. If you know what you’re going to buy, go straight to the store, buy the gift and move on to the next person on your checklist. For this day, focus on achieving your goal and completing your list – it is not ideal to visit your favourite stores or else you’ll be tempted to buy something for yourself.
Start your Christmas shopping early
You may not see this as a shopping secret, but those that are smart gift shoppers will let you know that, if you need a stressful holiday shopping experience then this is the right way to go. During September and October, you can start to shop for the season’s “hot” new toys and electronics. Retailers will put you on a waiting list if the items aren’t available yet. This means you will be among the first batch to get the product when it hits the market.
Don’t be afraid to ask for unadvertised discounts
Make sure you ask if there are any unadvertised discounts, or exclusive coupons sales your retailer is not telling you about. As part of some retailer’s loyalty programmes, they offer exclusive discounts for regular customers. You might have to sign up for the programme, but the discounts usually make it well worthwhile. Why not ask about a seniors’ discount if you’re over 55 years?
Shop for unusual gift online
Many people don’t go to town to shop as much anymore. Now, they have to rely on eCommerce website to buy their product. Customers are protected by money back guarantee. Shopping online takes some getting used to but those who shop like the experience. First, it saves time. You can purchase right in your own place. Second, it saves you the hassle. No more queuing when paying. Just type in your credit card details and you’re transaction is complete. You spend less than going to an actual high street shop. It is also easy to check Christmas promotion since you are doing internet browsing.
Money is always tight during the winter season; expenses are higher than usual, and saving some money on gifts can go a long way in helping you start the New Year debt free. Your Christmas spirit will get a boost, and you might just have a more Joyous Holiday Season!
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