Christmas on a Budget: How to Spend Less This Holiday Season
December is fast approaching, and with it comes the dreaded shopping season. While people generally enjoy the holidays, as they allow them to unwind for a bit, the preparations are what people prefer to avoid.
Instead of focusing on spending time with family, watching cheesy Christmas movies, and enjoying guilty pleasures such as visiting the Slotocash online casino games, people have to deal with lots of shopping and elbow pushing.
According to a study conducted by the National Retail Federation, the average American spends about $920 on gifts during the holiday season. 33% of the US population was even expected to spend more than $1,000 on Christmas presents last year.
The stress that accompanies such grand expenses is unbelievable, and you can avoid it if you try to create a holiday budget. Before you start purchasing decorations and gifts for your loved ones, learn how you can save some money this Christmas!
Top 10 Tips to Follow
- Create a shopping list – Hitting the stores without knowing what you’re looking for is a recipe for disaster. You will probably find yourself buying unnecessary items for too much money, which doesn’t serve your goal. Before you embark on a shopping spree, create a list and divide it into three sections:
Think of presents for immediate family and your closest friends
– Entertainment supplies – If you are the one hosting the annual Christmas party, you should think about everything you might need: food, decorations, kitchen utensils, and more.
– Gifts for co-workers and distant relatives – shop for those last and only if you have money left in your budget.
- Make a budget – Once you have a general idea of what you have to buy, decide how much money you’re willing to spend and stick to the budget! You will probably be tempted to overspend more than once, but you should stay strong and only buy what you can afford.
- Re-check your list – Since you probably won’t be done with all your Christmas shopping in one day, your chances of losing track of your list are high. Check and re-check your list every time you hit the mall, and never stray from your original shopping plan. That way, you will have greater chances of sticking to your budget.
- Keep track of useful discounts – The holiday season is often accompanied by sales and discounts in all major stores, and you should take advantage of the situation. To maximize your exposure to all the best discounts, you can do as follows:
– Look for discount codes online, as plenty of websites can provide you with cash-backs for most of your purchases.
– Compare prices online. Make sure that you know which stores to hit to get the same item for the lowest price possible.
– If you plan on shopping in a specific store, take the time to visit the brand’s website and subscribe to the e-mail list. That way, you will be immediately notified whenever a new deal is available to you.
- Consider a cheaper kind of presents – Nowadays, most people feel obligated to buy presents. The pricier they are, the more people think you care. However, lots of presents can cost you next to nothing, and still mean everything to the recipient. Take the time to think about the person you’re buying the gift for, and try to come up with a good memory you can recreate. Creating your own present DIY-style or even recreating a moment can be worth a lot more than anything you buy at the store.
- If possible, start shopping ahead of time – The earlier you start to shop, the higher your chances to buy what you want. You will have the time to check out different stores and choose the perfect presents.
- Hit the shops at the right time – This tip might not be a money-saving tip, but it’s a good one nonetheless. Your shopping trip will be more successful if you are not rushed into making decisions – when the shop attendants aren’t preoccupied with serving hundreds of other customers. That’s why you should hit the stores before or after rush hours. That way, you won’t have to compete with others for the attention of the vendors.
- Choose your shopping partner carefully – To avoid wasting time and money unnecessarily, don’t let just anyone accompany you. Pick a shopping partner that will be able to keep you in check when it comes to sticking to your budget.
- Don’t rule out online shopping – Purchasing gifts online can be a smart idea, as long as you buy everything you need ahead of time. Online orders might take a while to arrive at the right destination at this time of year, so take it into account. However, the fact that you can be done with your shopping in a few hours and without leaving the house is quite compelling, and you might want to give online shops a chance.
- Start Planning for your next Christmas in advance – The best discounts for Christmas-related presents are available right after the holidays. So if you have the time for it, start shopping for the next Christmas right after the holidays are over.
Are You Ready to Start Shopping?
The winter holidays are supposed to be filled with joy and happiness, so don’t allow anything to hinder that – not even the process of buying presents!