As Christmas is just around the corner, most of us are starting to get into that holiday spirit. This means planning the most relaxing and enjoyable days with our loved ones where we tend to shower each other with love and affection, and some amazing gifts as well. As much as we love and care for our friends and family, the thought of shopping for Christmas presents can be overwhelming.
Although it can seem fun and exciting, we simply cannot avoid the pressure of making everyone happy and not going into debt at the same time. Whether you are on a tight budget, or you simply refuse to let material things define the affection you feel for someone, there is a way of being thoughtful without exhausting all of your money resources.
Our generally busy lifestyles force us to leave the Christmas shopping for last minute. Even though justifiable, this approach creates a lot of stress which results in impulse decisions that may not be budget-friendly. To avoid the stress and enormous costs in December, use a different method and start your shopping earlier in the year.
Each time you come across an item on sale that would be great for someone special in your life, make the purchase and save it for Christmas. Of course, it’s too late to use this method this year, but make sure to start it as early as January next year.
Make a List
There are not enough words to explain how important a list is in these situations. Firstly, it will be easier to plan your gift-shopping once you have a clear and honest budget for presents. To maximise the results, set a clear budget for each person’s gift, and make a decision to not go above that sum. This will clear all the dilemmas and confusion you may encounter once you enter the stores or online shops and see all the options.
Look for Discounts
Vouchers and discounts are smart choices for anyone who is on a tight budget for Christmas shopping. Don’t be too lazy to do your research online. It doesn’t take up too much time actually, and the results can be amazingly budget-friendly. Especially during holiday season, retailers are offering great discounts and vouchers you can use to shop at even the most exclusive stores. All you have to do is find them.
Take a Break Between Purchases
You know how once you buy an item and it gives you this rush that most often results in another, completely irrational purchase that you regret later once you realise it broke your budget? There is a term for this. It is called the “shopping momentum effect” and it is real. According to a Stanford University study, once we make the first shopping decision, it changes our mindset and it becomes more action-oriented rather than contemplative. This Christmas season make a decision to avoid the effect by intentionally taking a few minutes to snap out of this trap and continue your shopping according to the plan.
Find Items That Come with Presents
Luckily there are so many offers with a free gift that can come in handy when you have many people to buy for with little resources. This is especially true of cosmetic products which you can find packed with amazing product as gifts. By paying attention on these types of deals, you can save a lot and get two gifts for the price of one.
Try to Avoid Malls
This is also something related to our psychological and emotional response that makes us confuse the feelings we have with the amount of money we should spend. Malls and big shopping centres tend to evoke these emotions, especially during Christmas time when the decorations turn them into Christmas fairy tales. This results in us buying more than we are able to afford.
Unless there is a specific sale you would like to check, try to avoid shopping at malls so as not to find your bank account drained due to a beautiful atmosphere you couldn’t resist.
Explore Vintage Ideas
When thinking about gift options for Christmas, most of us forget about the fact that it doesn’t necessarily mean those have to be brand new items.
There is probably at least one of your friends or family members that would appreciate a unique, vintage piece for their collections. Visit yard sales and thrift stores near you to find original gift options for your loved ones and stay on a budget.
You would be surprised by how much you can actually save by shopping around. And it doesn’t actually have to take too much time as you can use online price comparing options and look for the best prices available for a certain product.
Utilise Your Loyalty Card
Don’t forget to check your loyalty cards from different stores as you are shopping for Christmas gifts. The points you have collected overtime can help you to significantly reduce the initial price and save more.