With just 11 days until Christmas, I thought I would share some tips on how to do that (sometimes) dreaded Christmas Shopping. I love Christmas, it is a beautiful time of the year where everyone is generally a little nicer, kinder and reflective…however, shopping for those Christmas “Prezzies” can be quite a task!
- Firstly, set a Spending Limit. No one is going to think any less of you for doing your shopping on a budget. If they do you may want to question why it is, exactly, that you include them on your list anyway!
- Make a List…and check it two or three times. Be sure the items you choose are not above your spending limit. When you go out shopping, buy what is on the list only. One of the easiest ways overspend is through impulse purchases. If the item is not on your list, but happens to be perfect, remove another item from the list.
- Make Bargains your friend. If you find a gorgeous cashmere sweater on sale for 50% off, there is no need to spend the amount you saved on supplemental gifts. All this does is absorb funds and create unnecessary additional shopping. The sweater is enough. Don’t feel guilty for not spending a certain amount; instead feel savvy for finding a smashing gift for a price that leaves a little something for a rainy day.
- Get that Creative hat on. There is no shame in making your own presents. In fact, many would argue it shows a more personal touch than simply buying some mass-produced item from your local shopping mall. Many people make their own jams or chutneys to give to friends and family, but if your creative talents lie elsewhere, then there are plenty of other options. If you’re into arts and crafts, you can make all sorts of personalised gifts. Or if you’re into photography, the same applies. Making your own cards and decorations is also a great way to save money, and the end result will be a far more unique and personal Christmas experience.
- Start Early. It’s not too late! Unless you like the challenge and stress of doing your shopping with huge crowds of desperate and rabid shoppers, get it done early. The rationale that the sales are better if you wait just doesn’t make any sense. Why take the risk that you may not have the time or selection to find what you really need? If you start early enough you can bargain shop much more effectively than if you wait to zero hour when the need to get something…anything eclipses all other concerns.
- Shop online. Avoid the crowds and stores altogether and shop in your bunny slippers in the comfort of your own home. Visit our Directory for some ideas. A few things you will avoid by staying home: fighting for parking, lost crying children, sharp elbowed fellow shoppers or less than helpful store assistants. A few of the pros virtual storefronts have to offer: savings in gas, many online stores have free shipping offers, special web only sales and offers and perhaps the biggest advantage of all shopping and shipping to distant relatives without going to the post office yourself. (Don’t forget the list)
- Enjoy it! There are many reasons we give gifts during the Christmas Season but one of the best parts is seeing a loved one opening their present. Try to enjoy choosing those special gifts for your loved ones. Remember, its not the price tag but the thought behind it that matters.
Knowing that you haven’t overspent will ultimately help you relax and enjoy the festive period, and some of these ideas may even help you reconnect with the true spirit of the season. Have a Blessed Christmas!