The holiday season is approaching with its many activities in tow. The holidays are a busy season, whether you are planning a vacation, celebrating a milestone, camping, or visiting families and friends. And it also comes with a lot of shopping, making merry and spending.
The International Council of Shopping Centers reported that the average shopper would spend $ 637 on gifts and related holiday expenses in 2021. Also, looking at the trends, shop owners have, over the past years, registered the highest sales in the last two months of the year, but everyone has a nightmare shopping story.
Holiday shopping is exciting but with a vast potential to be awful. Think of braving crowded malls, carols on repeat, overpriced items, and the genuine fear of having your finances take a terrible hit from increased spending. Your holiday season shopping does not have to be dramatic. See the tips below on the best ways to prepare better.
Draw A Budget
Drawing a budget features among the top practices of financially literate people, and it helps to control one’s spending. You will need to compare and track your income and expenses for a given period.
After an overview of your income, expenses, and what you have, determine the amount of money you can spend for the holidays. Unlike many people’s imagination, a budget does not need to be restrictive for effectiveness.
This financial planning tool enables you to allocate resources you can comfortably spend shopping for the holiday season. Lack of a budget while shopping for the holiday season is risky as you may indulge and get things you do not need.
Identify What You Need/ Plan Ahead
Everyone would wish to shower friends and family with costly gift items. Unfortunately, limited finances are a real challenge. Start listing what you need as days go by and keep adding to the list. An elaborate list of all the items you want helps you plan better and even window shop for good deals.
Come up with a detailed list of gift ideas for your loved ones. Whether you are planning to get a coupon or send festive flowers, being specific about what you need is crucial.
Are you thinking of revamping your wardrobe? Take an audit of what you have first and establish what exactly you need.
Once you have your list intact, group like items in clusters, as it is likely that you will visit the same shops together, saving yourself a few trips.
Save For A Holiday Shopping Fund Throughout The Year
While pricing out all your prices way before the shopping date may sound like a lot of work, it will help you best prepare for your shopping this holiday season. Knowing this figure will give you an idea of whether you are within the budget.
Put measures to save the money you need for shopping this holiday season. If you wish to get your special friend a beautiful pendant accompanied by poinsettias and winter flowers for Christmas, get the price and have a kitty for it.
Cut down on some luxuries to create a funds kitty for shopping this holiday season. Starting a savings account for this holiday season may be late, but you can have one next year. Avoid shopping on debt or using credit cards as they attract interest making them more expensive.
Get Price Coupons
Many people clip coupons and shove them in their wallets until they get the right online store. Sites allow you to redeem and search for deals for your gift items quickly.
Look Out For Sales And Offers
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are shopper’s paradise. Each year, buyers wait for this happy season to refurbish their homes, upgrade appliances, and shop for gifts. You will most likely enjoy great discounts during these offers. Get your list ready and look out for offers in various stores. You will be spoilt for choice.
Use Credit Cards And Rewards Apps To Reward Stack.
When reward stacking, you combine many rewards programs to maximize points, discounts, and cash back upon purchase. There are several credit cards and reward shopping services that you can use to earn as many rewards as possible. The cash-back percentage for different retailers may temporarily increase or even double from time to time. As a result, you still get the opportunity to earn more from the items you were to purchase.
Set Price Alerts For Specific Products
When doing online holiday shopping, one of the easiest ways to ensure you are not exploited is to set up an alert that will let you know in case of a price drop. If you already have specific gifts written, this arrangement comes in handy and may save you considerable money if lucky enough.
Holiday Gift Exchange With A Price Limit
Holiday shopping may become a daunting affair if you are an extrovert with a large group of friends and come from a large family. Consider holiday exchange gifts. These arrangements are convenient and reduce considerable pressure as they ensure everyone in the group gifts only one person and takes one home. In most cases, there is a price limit set; hence you will not feel the pressure of not getting someone special a pricey gift.
On top of all the above, always ensure you start your shopping early and avoid the last-minute rush. Buyers who shop during rush hour risk paying extra for expedited shipping or inflated commodity prices.
Get potential ideas for everyone you wish to buy a gift for and list them down. Consider custom-making some gifts if you love art. There are also many DIY tutorials where you can get several ideas on gift ideas you can make for your loved ones.
Also, make use of e-commerce and shop online where possible. Having goods delivered at your convenience as it saves you a lot of hassles, especially when shopping for many people of different age groups and tastes.