Now that the holiday season is fast approaching us, we have to start to think how we can shop and buy gifts for our friends and loved ones, without extending ourselves and adding to our credit card debt.
The most important thing is good planning. A good way to start is with a list. Making a list of people you need to buy gifts for helps you know how much money you will need. After you know how many gifts you need to buy, start to think what kind of present fits each person on your list. This will help you from wandering around malls and shops and will keep you focused. You will end up spending more money if you make impulse purchases, so make that list and stick to it!
Being creative is another way to save and spend less money. Buying several smaller priced gifts and displaying them in a decorative package may be just the touch you need to make a good impression.
If you don’t really need it, don’t buy it! Stores draw you into buying products you really might not want. It is always tempting to pick up something just because it has a sale price, but that does not always mean it is something you can use, or something that someone would like to have.
So, when browsing, make sure you only consider what you came in there for. Be strong, and stay focused!
Make your own
If you are a creative, crafty person, sometimes homemade gifts are just the thing to save you money and show someone you really cared enough and took the time to make something special. Craft stores have a lot of ideas to choose from. Even picture frames are inexpensive and can be decorated by you for that extra personal touch.
Also remember, an expensive gift does not always make a good impression. Being too showy can embarrass some people, especially if they cannot afford to buy something for you. Save those presents for someone’s special day, like their birthday.
Re-gift instead of retail
You can also save money by buying that special someone a used book that you know they have been looking for a long time. That would be a unique gift, no one else would think of, so don’t be afraid of insulting someone with a used item, it could be just what they wanted.
Shop on the internet
Today, buying on the internet is very popular and it could be just the thing to do to save you money. Not having to drive to malls and shops and spending money on fuel is a way to save.
Websites sometimes offer free shipping or combined shipping, so be sure to surf the web well and choose the right one for you. If you are shopping for someone out of town, why not have it shipped directly to them. Some stores will even send your package gift wrapped at little or no extra cost to you. This will save on shipping to you and re-shipping to your friends and family.
Limit credit card use
Unless shopping online, paying cash is the best option. By using your credit card less, you can avoid the fees and interest that comes around after the holidays. Many who shop for Christmas don’t realize the true cost of the holidays until the credit card statement comes in. Avoid the surprise and use cash whenever possible.
The holidays are a time for giving, unfortunately for some it keeps on giving all year. Many go into debt trying to give more than they are capable of. This year utilize smart shopping and creativity to minimize the chances of over spending and enjoy the holidays with less stress.