As Christmas draws nearer, our anxiety and the panicky turmoil of emotions increases. It’s a day to celebrate, have fun and relax, but the rarely happens. What’s the most common thing on people’s minds before or during Christmas? The gifts; the ones you’re going to receive and the ones you’re going to give. And finding the perfect gift for everyone is not just hard, it’s impossible. You’re always going to end up disappointing someone, but does that mean you give up trying? No, that just means you make your Christmas shopping a little smarter and easier to save yourself from all the anxiety and overspending. Need help doing that? We have 15 of the best tips right here:
1. Make a List
The very first thing you have to do, before going out shopping, is making a list. Make a list of everyone you have to buy gifts for, and the gifts you want to buy if you have some in mind. Then, as you shop around, keep crossing people off the list so you know exactly who is left. This will also ensure that you don’t buy someone multiple things.
2. Set a Budget
Once you have decided who you’re going to buy gifts for, set a budget. It is very important that you stick to this budget to keep yourself from overspending. You may find something you love or you think the other person will love, but if it’s out of your budget, then it’s off the shopping list. Make sure you include your travel expenses and any party you plan on throwing in the budget as well.
3. No-Gift or Homemade Gifts Policy
If Christmas gifts are out of your budget for the year, then inform your family and friends and make a policy about no gifts or inexpensive gifts, or maybe homemade gifts that don’t put a dent in your wallet.
4. No Christmas Cards
Same goes for Christmas cards. You don’t need to send fancy, expensive Christmas cards to all your family and friends. You can simply call them or drive over to see the ones who live close-by. If you really must send out cards, make them at home and hand-deliver the ones you can.
5. Inexpensive Gift Wrapping
Since we’re talking about unnecessary items, we should talk about gift wrapping too. If you’re buying someone a gift, the gift itself should be what matters, not the outer covering that gets thrown in the bin. So, go simple and elegant with your gift wrapping, and you can end up saving a lot of money you would have otherwise wasted.
6. Buy Tickets Early
Christmas shopping isn’t just about gifts. It’s also about the things you need for a party, if you’re throwing one, or tickets to travel back home if you have to. So, make sure you buy your train or plane tickets well before the Christmas time rolls around, because the nearer the holiday gets, the higher the prices of tickets get.
7. Use Cash
Always use cash when shopping during the holidays. Using a credit card is like a black-hole; it will keep sucking you further and further in. We often buy things on credit and end up paying them off until the next holiday season comes along. So, avoid the temptation to buy more than you can afford by avoiding credit cards altogether.
8. 0% Credit Card and Cashback Credit Cards
If you really must use credit card, then get a 0% credit card, which gives you 0% interest on purchases for the initial period. Or you can use a cashback credit card or rewards card so you can get something back for spending money.
9. Compare Prices
Compare all the products you’re buying with other stores and online. You can often find a cheaper deal elsewhere for the same product, saving you from buying things at higher prices.
10. Use Discount Codes
Use discount codes to buy good at a lower price. You can search the web for discount codes specific to a retailer you want or you can use browser plugins that do the work for you; for example, “Honey” for Google Chrome.
11. Use Coupons
You can also use coupons to buy items at reduced prices. However, look out for scam coupons that offer you deals that are obviously too good to be true.
12. Look for Black Friday Sales
Keep a look-out for Black Friday sales when all the major shops and outlets reduce their prices to start the Christmas shopping season. You can even stock up on gift items for next year if you get good deals.
13. Sell Unused Gifts Online
Do you use every single gift you get during the holiday season? No, there are always some just lying around, unused, gathering dust. Well, there’s a better use for them; sell them online on Ebay or similar websites to get some extra money for the next holiday season.
14. Buy Gifts on Ebay
If you can sell your gifts online, then what is on the other end of that equation? Someone buying those gifts. So, why can’t you? You can buy second-hand, barely used gifts, in good condition, online at reduced prices too!
15. Check the Prices of Parcel Delivery
The very last thing you have to worry about when sending gifts to loved ones if the cost of the delivery. Price-check various delivery services so to find the cheapest ones, and make sure to send them well before time so you don’t have to pay extra for urgent deliveries.