5 Ways To Save Money While Christmas Shopping
It’s that time of year again. Black Friday is next week, and Christmas will be here before we know it. [These last couple of months flew by, didn’t they???] If you haven’t already started Christmas shopping, I’m sure that you’ll be going at it full force over the next few weeks. Putting forth measures beforehand to control your spending can prevent post holiday financial stress. Shopping and giving gifts is supposed to be fun and exciting, but starting out the new year trying to foot a huge holiday bill is NOT fun or ideal. How do you usually handle Christmas expenditures? Do you proactively save throughout the year or do you pull everything together last minute? Whichever method you’re using, keep these tips in mind to save yourself some money and stress.
First and foremost, set a spending limit. Decide the total amount that you want to spend, then plan your gifts around your budget. Not the other way around. Factor in some wiggle room and commit to not spending more than you’ve planned. Be realistic about your budget and plan out your gifts accordingly.
Determine who you’re buying gifts for, think about what you’d like to get them, and how much to spend on each person. Make a list of gift recipients (and gifts if you already have something specific in mind) and stick to it! Use this list as a checklist to keep track of your purchases and also to keep an eye on your spending limit.
If you know that you’re prone to overspending and credit is too tempting, use cash or debit instead. This will limit how much you have available to spend, help you stick to your spending limit, and prevent going into the new year swamped with fresh consumer debt. If you’re comfortable using credit and have a good grasp on credit card usage, use your cash back or rewards card to take advantage of those benefits.
Use Ebates and Retail Me Not for cash back on purchases, discounts, and promo codes. You’re likely going to be doing quite a bit of shopping during this time, and getting paid to do so is clutch! When out shopping in store, look up the store on Retail Me Not before checking out to see if they’re having any special deals or promotions.
Shop alone. Peer pressure is real, yall. Shopping sans kids is a given (they have a knack for convincing you to buy things outside of what you’d planned to purchase), but family and/or friends can apply the pressure as well. How many times have you been out shopping with someone and ended up buying way more than you intended? When shopping with others, you tend to spend more than you would if you were shopping alone. To save money while shopping and only buy what you need and planned to buy, do majority of your shopping by yourself. If you do go shopping with others, bring your list along and try your best to stick to the plan.
Saving money while Christmas shopping is all about planning. You have to determine how much you want to spend and then make a plan to spend it. Keep an eye open for ways, beyond those listed above, to help you get the things that you want, keep some coin in your pocket, and prevent that post holiday financial stump.