It doesn’t take an expensive present under the tree to say “I love you.” Instead of spending your life savings on extravagant gifts this year – get smart about your Christmas shopping.
Here are 10 tips on how to Christmas shop without blowing your savings.
1. Set a budget – and stick to it. Ask yourself: How much can I afford to spend this year? Failing to set realistic spending limits can lead to unrestrained shopping sprees – and debt.
2. Prioritise your gift list. There will always be people in life who deserve our generosity. But not everyone should be considered equally, and that’s OK. Immediate family will probably come first, followed by close friends, relatives and colleagues. Make a list of potential gifts for everyone and keep track of prices.
3. Avoid impulse buys. It’s easy to get swept up in the holiday spirit when everything in the shops screams Christmas cheer and so many items are discounted. But don’t be fooled into buying things you don’t need. Don’t stray from the list!
4. Give the gift of charity. Consider donating to a charity in someone else’s name. It’s a great way to do something selfless this holiday season while avoiding all the temptations that come with going to the shopping centres.
5. Internet shopping. If you have a specific gift in mind, in most cases it can be purchased online for much cheaper than in stores. Just make sure you leave enough time for delivery.
6. Eliminate unnecessary expenses. Does every gift really need a bow or expensive wrapping? Do gift bags have to have bells on them? Ditch the embellishments and streamline your gift wrapping.
7. Christmas is not the time to go above and beyond. When shopping for kids, keep in mind that they, unlike many adults, don’t look at price tags when considering something’s worth.
8. Make your own Christmas gifts. Going homemade can be a great way to add a personal touch to your holiday shopping list. Put those years in art school to use. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to pick up quilting, candle-making or even baking – the holidays are a great time to pursue new ventures!
9. Kill two – or three or four or five – birds with one stone. Get one big present for the whole family instead of small presents for each member.
10. Plan for next year by taking advantage of post-holiday sales. The weeks after Christmas are the best time to stock up on things like wrapping paper, tableware and decorations, as many retailers trying sell off their holiday stocks will offer big discounts on Christmas gear.