Most people don’t even realize how much they’ve spent till after Christmas. That’s when the stress starts, especially if you find out that you’ve spent more than you can afford. Or maybe you know how much you have to spend and are stressing about it already. We have you covered on how to reduce stress while shopping this holiday season.
Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. With a bit of planning, you can have a fun holiday shopping experience without any stress. But yes, the key is to plan well.
Set a budget for your shopping
Every financial plan starts with a strong budget. Take a look at how much you want to spend this Christmas and write it down. This should include not only gift purchases but also other expenses such as travel, food, events, etc.
Make a holiday shopping list
Are you someone who buys gifts or spends money on impulse? If so, make a list of all the people you want to buy gifts for. Once you have a list, stick to it. Set spending limits for each person and make sure you stay within these limits. This should help you follow your budget.
You don’t have to buy gifts for everyone
It’s not mandatory that you have to buy gifts for everyone you know. Even among your friends, you probably have more friends now than you did last year. You don’t have to get a gift for all of them. Instead, do gifts exchanges only with family and your closest friends. After all, your other friends might be on a budget too and may not be able to afford to add you to their gift list either.
Look for best offers and discounts
The best way to save money is to wait for a great deal or discount offer on the things you want to buy. Don’t rush to buy the gifts right away as soon as you see them. Take time to visit multiple stores and look at all your options before buying. This can help you get the best possible deals and save money.
Shop online for great deals
You can find some of the best deals online. Online stores even offer free shipping and delivery on most orders above a certain amount. If not, make sure you factor in the shipping costs when you buy online. However, don’t splurge. Here’s how you can control impulsive holiday shopping.
Pay using cash
If you’re buying at a physical store, use cash to pay rather than your credit card. When you use your credit card, you may spend more than necessary. When you use cash, you will usually not spend more than what you’ve budgeted. To make this easier, put cash into envelopes for each gift you want to buy. This way, you know exactly how much you can spend on each gift.
Try making gifts yourself
If you’re a creative person, see if you can make the gifts yourself. Personalized gifts mean a lot to most people. You can make cards, put together gift baskets, make paintings, etc. You can even bake goodies for your loved ones.
Plan for next year
Start making your gift list for next year now itself. This way, you will have a year to get everything and it won’t seem like you spent a whole lot of money in a single month. Besides, you can get some of these gifts during the off-season when their prices are highly reduced. You can also start saving right away. This will make sure you have a nice budget to get gifts next year.