Holiday shopping can be both exciting and stressful; not just from finding gifts for friends and family members, but also because finances may take an unexpected blow during this festive season.
There are some simple strategies available for those on a tight budget looking for ways to enjoy holiday shopping on a tight budget without breaking their wallets.
Create a Budget
Before beginning holiday shopping, determine how much you can afford to spend over the holidays. This may require looking over your budget and credit card statements in detail; nonetheless it is vitally important that you determine how much spending money is available – including funds saved up in an emergency fund, any pay increases between now and Christmas that you could spare, savings achieved using credit cards and shopping portals as well as money you might save by leveraging these methods (for more tips check out CNBC Select’s guide of savings strategies on holiday shopping).
Once you know the amount available to you, divide that sum among all known expenses in order to set spending priorities and avoid overspending.
Make sure that you account for costs related to gifts, holiday meals, decorations and seasonal activities such as decorating trees. Also remember other spending categories like travel costs or end-of-year tipping – creating a budget can bring peace of mind while planning ahead.
When buying gifts for multiple people at once, consider setting a price limit or engaging in a gift exchange to keep everyone’s spending under control. This strategy is particularly useful if you have children and want to prevent overspending on toys or electronics they won’t need as often.
Once the holidays have concluded, take time to review your budget and assess whether it was met. This can provide an opportunity to reflect upon past mistakes and adjust for next year. If expenses went over budget in any category, think of ways you could lower costs; perhaps switching to a less costly holiday credit card or purchasing items that do not add much to the holiday experience.
An effective strategy for holiday shopping on a tight budget is starting early. By taking advantage of sales and discounts early, as well as avoiding last-minute scrambling, early preparation will enable you to take full advantage of savings while simultaneously relieving some stress during last minute purchases.
Last-minute shoppers typically overspend because they are under pressure to find many gifts quickly, which often leads to impulse buys. Instead of leaving it until the last minute, shoppers should begin their holiday shopping in early November or earlier; many retailers offer pre-holiday promotions and deals online or social media pages; additionally keep an eye out for clearance racks or shelves – these may offer great bargains!
Another way to reduce holiday shopping expenses this year on a tight budget is using a credit card with rewards. This strategy can especially come in handy for online shoppers. Keep in mind, however, that buying something on sale doesn’t always save money; for example, that $200 42” HDTV may seem like a steal, but buying it already gives you an edge compared to new items on sale.
As another option for budget holiday shopping this year, homemade presents may also prove advantageous – providing fun activities for the whole family while saving money in the process. Such homemade presents include baked goods, photos and crafts.
Making a holiday shopping budget can help consumers stay on track, avoid expensive errors, and conserve their savings and emergency funds. Furthermore, creating such a plan can assist them in sticking to spending limits and curbing impulse buys.
If you plan on conducting most of your holiday shopping online, there are a few tricks you can employ to save money. First, utilize online coupons. Retail Me Not and Monkey Bargains provide huge stores of virtual coupon clippings which could significantly cut into holiday spending; these websites may also offer specials that help stretch out your dollars further.
Price comparison websites can also save time and money; for instance, one such site, CamelCamelCamel allows you to track prices as well as view historical chart. These services allow for convenient comparison between distributors at once.
Additionally, consider using a credit card offering cash back as part of your holiday expenses. Not only can this help stretch your budget further but can provide an extra financial cushion should things be tough this holiday season.
Holiday gift-buying can be costly, particularly if you have a large family or group of friends to shop for. But there are ways you can reduce spending, including participating in gift exchanges with coworkers or friends and setting spending limits for individual presents.
Remember, holidays are about giving back. These tips will help ensure that you make the most of your shopping experience this holiday season and can help save money as you avoid common spending traps.
Avoid Impulse Buys
Many impulse shoppers find it difficult to stay within their holiday shopping budgets due to the temptations presented by retailers’ offers such as “limited time only” or “sale items only available today”. Unfortunately, this can lead to making more purchases than planned and feeling buyer’s remorse later. In order to prevent impulse buys and buyer’s remorse later, stay focused on your budget and only purchase items listed on your list.
Shop online and search for discounts and sales items, using price comparison sites or apps such as Shopbot to help find the best offers and save money on purchases. Consider asking family members to participate in a Secret Santa or gift exchange to spread out spending throughout the year and reduce how many gifts you need to buy at once.
Another way to prevent impulse purchases is shopping with cash. Shopping with cash reduces temptations to overspend as you can only spend what’s in your wallet at any one time. Furthermore, surrounding yourself with people who share similar financial goals as yourself and can help hold you accountable can provide additional support in staying financially responsible.
Many holiday shoppers plan on employing various money-saving tactics this season, according to a CNBC Select survey. According to that poll, these include searching out coupons, discounts and sales (41 percent); purchasing items less frequently (20 percent); and giving fewer gifts (17 percent). By adopting such strategies you can reduce how much money is required during this festive season and ensure it remains stress-free and enjoyable!
Stick to Your List
Sticking to your list when shopping during the holidays is essential, especially with so many retailers offering great sales that appear too good to pass up. But if an item doesn’t fulfill someone on your gifting list or is beyond your budget, do not purchase it impulsively; giving in to impulse buys often leads to overspending and incurring debt over the festive season.
Beginning your holiday budget is easy when you start with a full financial picture and know your available funds in your savings account or leftover from previous paychecks. Once your total number is in mind, create an expense list including gifts for family, food, travel and decorations as well as their Spending Maximum amounts (this will prevent overspending). Once done, set specific spending maximum amounts per individual to ensure no overspending occurs!
Reduce or eliminate holiday spending that doesn’t directly involve gifts. For instance, electronic greeting card delivery could save money and cutting the need for paper wrapping is another good way of saving. Try covering gifts using old comics pages, maps or bus schedules instead – according to Gallegos this could work just as effectively!
Remember, it is the thought that counts when giving gifts, and you don’t have to break the bank in order to show your loved ones just how much you care. Even homemade items or letters written with care can be just as meaningful.