Updated: December 19, 2020
Are you done with your Christmas shopping? I bet your list is not yet complete because no matter how often we hear the immortal advice to shop early for Christmas, we tend to continue buying gifts throughout the holiday season.
Personally, I start my Christmas shopping during the first two weeks of December. It’s the time when malls are not yet too crowded and holiday bazaars and store-wide sales already abound.
I try to finish my list before the third week, but from experience, there will always be last-minute gifts that I need to buy. Thus, no matter when or where you do your Christmas shopping, it’s always smart to have a plan to help you avoid overspending this holiday season.
10 Money-Smart Tips for Buying Christmas Gifts
- Make a list. This is probably the most important advise I can give you. Knowing exactly the number of people you’re buying gifts for will help you in planning your budget. Furthermore, specify how much you are willing to spend for each person’s gift on your list. Take a grand total and see if your Christmas allowance fits, if not, then adjust accordingly.
- Remember to have an extra budget for unexpected gifts you need to buy. Long lost friends, relatives and godchildren or inaanaks might suddenly make an appearance or you could get invited to a Christmas get-together where you have to bring something for the raffle or gift exchange.
- Before even leaving your house, already have an idea what you want to buy. Take your list and note what gift would be nice to give for each person.
- When shopping, stay focused on your list and your budget. Avoid impulsive buying of unnecessary items. Bring a calculator or use that feature in your mobile phone to make sure you’re not overspending.
- Although it’s advisable to check out several stores to get the best deal, I also believe that when you see a nice gift that’s within your budget, then you should buy it already. Remember that time is also a precious commodity.
- Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Save money by eating at home before leaving and bring some snacks along. If you’re savvy enough, you can also consider doing your Christmas shopping online – it’s convenient and again, saves time.
- Consider regifting or giving away inexpensive but personal homemade gifts. It may be a cliché but it’s also a fact that indeed – it’s the thought that counts.
- When you’re really running low on your budget, consider simply giving away Christmas cards. Write a sincere personal message inside and you’ve got for yourself a memorable gift that will be more appreciated than those funny mugs and classy photo frames.
- Giving money as a gift is becoming common nowadays. If you’re planning to do this, then I suggest you “wrap it” in a nice way. This means instead of handing out bills inside an envelope, consider buying and giving gift certificates or discount cards and coupons from your recipient’s favorite store.
- Lastly, propose exchanging gifts instead of giving away individual gifts. This is most effective among friends but it can also be done within your family and other social groups.
How about you? What other tips can you give to help you avoid overspending on gifts this Christmas? Please share them below.