It’s that time of year again. The holiday shopping craze is about to begin and for many it will mean stress and large credit card bills come January. Who wants to start off a new year with more debt?
That’s why now is the perfect time to plan your holiday shopping and create a budget you can stick to. Here are some tips on how to get started saving money this holiday season.
1. Make a list. Start out by writing down all the people you need to do shopping for. Include the larger gifts for family members and friends, but also the small gifts for school teachers, neighbors, and the mail carrier. Also include anyone that you might give a holiday tip or bonus to.
2. Set your budget. Go through your list and include a maximum amount to spend for each gift. Look at what you can afford and stick to it.
3. Make a budget for all those holiday extras too! Food for dinners, party dresses, decorations, and stocking stuffers. It adds up and can cause you to pull out the credit card if you haven’t planned for it in advance.
4. Think of creative ways to give gifts without spending a lot of money. Websites like Etsy.com and Pinterest.com can be a great source of inspiration for budget friendly and handmade gifts.
5. Start early! The later you wait to shop, the more stressful it will be. Long lines, angry shoppers, and picked over shelves won’t put you in the Christmas spirit. Use your list and start checking off a few items each week so it’s not so hard on your wallet.
6. As always, the internet is a great place to shop! Price shop between multiple stores and read online reviews before you order. You don’t have to be tempted by impulse purchases and you’ll have exactly what you need delivered to your door.
7. If you are a procrastinator and still want a good deal, check out http://www.freeshippingday.com. On December 17th, 2012 you’ll be able to get free shipping from hundreds of online retailers, guaranteed to arrive by Christmas Eve! It might be last minute, but it will still get done without you having to go to a bunch of stores!
By following these tips, you’ll be able to have a stress-free holiday without putting yourself in debt and regretting your purchases later. Make the holidays a fun and joyous time by planning your purchases and sticking to your budget!