It’s that time of year again. However, with the economy in the dumps, there is much speculation floating around as to how much debt people will find themselves in this holiday season. That being said, the following are five easy ways you can save yourself some money (as well as a headache) when you hit the stores:
5 Ways to Save $$ This Holiday Season
- Make a List and Check it Twice! I don’t know about you, but every time I go into a grocery store without a list, I wind up purchasing way more than I ever intended to. The same thing applies to holiday shopping. Ask people for specifics on what they want. If you’re on a budget, ask your friends and family members to provide you with a variety of options for things that they want, this way you won’t feel pressured to buy something you can’t really afford. Once you’ve got this in hand, write it down and hang on to it. Once you’ve got your entire shopping list together, figure out how much you will be able to spend on everyone and DON’T STRAY FROM THE LIST!
- Give Yourself Time! Last minute shopping is something that most of us have succumbed to at some point in our lives-especially during the holiday crunch. However, there is no real reason for it to have to be like this; after all, you do have at least a year to plan ahead to the Christmas season!! Last-minute shopping isn’t the best because when people are cornered, they tend to spend money carelessly in a panic. Budget your time so that you’re not pressed for it; it’ll save you a lot of money in the long run!
- Don’t Be Fooled by the “Sales”! Just because something is on sale doesn’t necessarily mean that you should buy it. Many people have bought things that they didn’t really need or couldn’t really use simply because it was “on sale”. Unless you know the true value of the item that is on sale and actually have a need for it, don’t even think twice about it.
- Buy Meaningful Gifts! Too often, we get caught up in the holiday season and truly forget what the meaning of Christmas is. Sure, while it may look nice to have a ton of gifts strewn about beneath your Christmas tree, this really isn’t what the season is about. Especially because more people are on a budget now, gift-giving has taken on its true meaning. People appreciate gifts from each other when there is a lot of thought behind them. Be creative and think of ways that you can show someone you really care without spending a ton of money. There’s a fine line between simply being “cheap” and being thoughtful. Tread carefully!
- Find Time for Family! While most of us spend our time at the mall or shopping centers or even recently, online, the holiday season should always be about putting your family first. Even if it means setting aside a couple of hours one night a week to order in some pizza and play a board game or watch a rented movie, finding time to spend with the ones you care about the most doesn’t have to be pricey and is much more fulfilling than any amount of money that you could spend on gifts that come from a store.