Christmas is a great time of year to celebrate with family and friends, but it can also be downright expensive. If you aren’t well prepared before the holiday season arrives, you could quickly find yourself blowing through your budget as the big day approaches. With plenty of presents to buy in a short period of time, Christmas can be challenging for those trying to be fiscally responsible.
With that in mind, the following five tips should help you to save some money while still buying great gifts for the people you love.
One of the best ways to lessen the blow of holiday shopping is to get started well in advance. If you can start doing your shopping in September or October, you can gradually pick up a present here and there instead of doing it all at once. Spreading out the expense of the gifts you purchase will make it easier to fit the shopping into your budget.
A great Christmas present isn’t measured simply by how much you spend. You can buy great gifts for your loved ones without breaking the bank – you just might need to be a little creative along the way. Think about the hobbies and interests of those you are buying for and pick out gifts that they will truly enjoy. When buying something that you are sure will be useful, you won’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money to get them a memorable gift.
Of course, this is good advice for any time of the year. If you want to make sure you get a good deal on anything that you are going to buy, take the time to shop around for the best price. Thanks to the popularity of online shopping this is easier than ever before.
Simply search the web to find prices from a number of sources before placing your order. Many companies will even offer a money back guarantee if you find the item at a lower price later on, so feel free to follow up with your comparison shopping even after the purchase has been made. Another great way to save money on Christmas shopping is to get cash back from what you’d be buying anyway. I like to do most of my shopping on Amazon which typically has great prices. However, you can use a site like TopCashBack which gives you up to 8.5% cash back on all your purchases on Amazon.
Tighten Up Your List
Do you really need to buy presents for everyone that is currently on your holiday list? Maybe not. Think carefully about who you should buy presents for. In the case of extended family, make sure you’re on the same page so as to not hurt anyone’s feelings. The spirit of the holidays should be more about love and friendship than material goods anyway, so simply getting in touch with people you haven’t seen in a while will be just as meaningful as a present.
Take Advantage of Deals
If you are going to buy one specific big-ticket item this holiday season, such as a gift for a spouse, make sure to look for special promotions that could save you a significant amount of money. For example, finding a 10 percent coupon might not mean much when the item is $50, but that same coupon could mean serious savings if the gift is $500 or more. You can always use sites like Swagbucks or Retailmenot before making a purchase to find any possible deals or coupons.
What is your plan for Christmas gift giving? Have you started Christmas shopping yet? Do you prefer to shop at the store or do you do most of your shopping online? What do you do to save money on Christmas shopping?
Photo courtesy of: chrisli8020
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