The National Retail Federation reported that holiday shoppers spend an average of $637 on gifts in 2018. While Christmas is just around the corner, so are expenses. The ABC News consumer counseling agencies see a 25 percent increase in the number of people seeking help in January and February. This is as a result of holiday bills that haunt consumers like the ghost of Christmas past. Since it's possible to shop during Christmas on a budget, why don’t you just adopt it and save that extra money? Here is how to save money on Christmas shopping.
Set a Spending Limit
Overspending on Christmas gifts tends to be a personal thing. It’s easy to feel guilty when it comes to holiday spending. Definitely, you don’t need to spend $50 on every one of your nieces and nephews. Figure out the amount of money you want to spend and have a list of whom you’re going to spend it on. For instance, if you’re planning on spending $400 on presents, that might be $150 for your spouse, $ 50 for the parents and so on. Just divide the money among the people on your list.
Don’t wait for Black Friday to start your Christmas shopping, look for opportunities all year long. Nab that stuffed Sasquatch on clearance in July that you know your nephew would cherish. Having a Christmas buying list early and sticking to it although, will help spread out both the spending and the stress. In case you missed to shop early for Christmas this year, there are ways to still spend less during your last-minute shopping. Look for stores with crazy Christmas discounts and make use of it.
Encourage Christmas Gift Exchanges
Another easy way to spend less on Christmas shopping is to do a Secret Santa gift or to draw names. This way you only get to shop for one person. Also, it will cut on money used to buy gifts, and you purchase a nicer gift for one person, rather than several less meaningful gifts. This is mostly applicable to office giving as well as extended family giving. Larger families can do this among siblings, as well. The Secret Santa gift is easy to set up and many people jump at the chance to simplify their shopping expectations.
Buy Discounted Gift Cards
Before you pay for those gifts you want to purchase, buy discounted gift cards. There are multiple sites out there dedicated to selling gift cards at discounted prices. The discounts may range from five percent to even 30 percent depending on the store. Alternatively, you can sell gift cards that you don’t have any use for and use the money to buy new gifts cards you want to use or use the money for something else.
Cut Down on Extras
Normally, we find ourselves indulging a little more than we should simply because it’s the holiday season. Getting lattés pilled sky high with whipped cream, splurging on a pair of shoes for yourself or paying for a photo with Santa, this is just but extras. You need to avoid getting into traps that constant demand you spend on “extras” that eats into your budget. For example, spending $4.50 on pumpkin spice latte three times per week throughout December means that this more than $162 you’ve spent on pricey drinks.
Check for Price Updates
Prices keep getting better as we approach Christmas Eve. Today a product might be going for a 30 percent discount and tomorrow you find the same product down to a 40 percent discount. Looking for these price fluctuations can help you to save some money. Even better, some stores will adjust prices and give you back the price difference. The same thing applies to some credit cards. And you can get the price difference from the stores and credit cards at the same time.
In a Nutshell
- Set a spending limit: Write down the amount you’re willing to spend. Shop early: Let the Christmas gift shopping begin as early as the start of a new year.
- Encourage Christmas gift exchanges: Have a plan for every family member to shop for one another to help make the gift-giving ceremony easy on your side.
- Buy discounted gift cards: During Christmas many stores are willing to give a deeper discount on gift cards, take advantage of that.
- Cut down on extras: If you do not need a certain thing, using the money to buy something else might help cut down on the spending.
- Check for price updates: Today’s price might be different from tomorrow's price thus be informed of these price fluctuations.
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