Not everyone has the luxury of shopping without even taking a quick glance at the price tag. I’m sure most of us look at the price tag first before we even consider buying something for ourselves much more for our families, friends, and others. And come Christmas time, you need to do more shopping as there is usually a long list of people you have to give gifts to especially to kids in the family and your godchildren if you have one or more already. After all, Christmas is for the kids and the kids at heart. We have the fondest memories of the holiday season since our childhood and it often involved gifts no matter how much we want to deny that material things are not that important.
If you belong to the majority where money is still an issue when it comes to your Christmas shopping, then you’re definitely reading the right article (this is a great guide, too). It might take a little resourcefulness and creativity in pulling off the perfect present for the people who mean a lot in your life but it’s still possible to do that even if you stick to a certain budget. A lucky few have mastered this technique and they’ve elevated it to an art that many people are wondering if it’s really possible and how do they even do it. Well, it takes just a lot of planning and knowing what to do, where to go, and when to buy. They had to learn the hard way too but has certainly learned from their mistakes and now keep these tips in mind as well to save your wallet from dying once Christmas comes knocking on your door.
For many of us, while we have the lights up and the tree decorated, there isn’t anything under the Christmas tree yet. You may not have bought a single present or even budgeted for presents. Here are nine easy, last-minute Christmas shopping tips for busy people trying to do their shopping on a budget.
- Make a shopping list
Write down the list of people you plan on buying gifts for. Critically consider who should be on your gift list and don’t be afraid to trim it. Start with your immediate family and close friends, and selectively add to your list from there.
- Set a spending limit
Many people overspend on Christmas gifts by letting their emotions get the best of them. It’s easy to feel guilty when it comes to holiday spending. Do you need to spend $50 on every one of your nieces and nephews? Definitely not.
The first thing you need to remember is to write a list of all the people you are giving gifts to, every single one of them. Then, think of an appropriate gift they will like and how much you are willing to spend in buying that particular present. Do this as early as possible, so you don’t miss out on great deals before the holiday season even starts and discounts are gone. Most malls and shops have different sale schedules all year round, take note when you can go to these places and how much you have money with you and what you can buy from your list. For those who hate being in a crowd of shoppers, you can also shop online like the majority of people do these days. You’d be surprised at how many do this now and the deals aren’t bad either.
Don’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start buying holiday gifts. Keep your eyes open all year round for items friends and family would like; it’s often when you’re not looking for something specific that you stumble across the perfect gift for Dad or your best friend Jenny. Once December hits, you’ll be glad that you already have some people crossed off your list. Just make sure to keep all your advance gifts in a designated (and hidden, if necessary) spot so that you don’t forget a purchase you made months in advance.
And yes, I can’t stress it hard enough to start your shopping early whenever possible. You have more sales you can buy from and you don’t have to buy everything in one go, thus it’s more friendly to your wallet. You also have the luxury of time with you. You won’t unnecessarily stress yourself about petty things because you have more time on your hands to finish your Christmas shopping unlike those who prefer to buy when Christmas is almost there. And of course, you can take advantage of shopping at super great deals during Black Friday, perhaps among the last major discount, you can get from the biggest shopping spree of the year.
Hit Up Black Friday (If You Dare)
If you’re looking for great deals and aren’t afraid of battling large crowds, the day after Thanksgiving is a shopping must. Get a head start on fellow shoppers by checking a website like Blackfriday.org before the big day. The site compiles Black Friday ads from various stores and updates the information as it becomes available, allowing you to plan out which stores to hit and what products you intend to buy. Some stores even offer advance “Black Friday” sales before Thanksgiving, so it’s worth it to peruse the listings early. Be warned, though—some so-called “Black Friday” deals aren’t any cheaper than the regular sale price, so do some extra research before you camp out in the store parking lot at 2 a.m.
Now, it’s not all over after the Black Friday sale. What follows is it another epic shopping experience comes Cyber Monday. If people line up outside malls, shopping centers, and shops on Black Friday, you’d be needing your computer this time as you’d be placing your orders online. I’m sure many are no longer new to online shopping as it has evolved to become the preferred way of shopping for most consumers because of its sheer convenience. Imagine all the money you can save from gas/transportation, food, and all the hassle of having to go out there and spend hours looking for things you like when you can simply do it online in the comfort on your own homes. Best of all, you’d get your orders delivered to your doorsteps. Cyber Monday is one of your last resort to enjoy amazingly big discounts for potential Christmas presents you can buy for all those people on your list.