Do set a budget. Sometimes around the holidays it can be very stressful for some families/people when it comes to income and shopping. My suggestion is to take a look and what you can afford to spend and make a list of everyone you need to buy for. Then and I know it’s hard to decide who and how much you want to spend on someone but it is very important so that you don’t go over budget and put yourself in a bad financial situation. Besides it’s always the thought that counts and not how much you spend!
Don’t take your credit card shopping. Back to setting yourself a budget, taking your credit card can defer you from your budget plan. Its money that is just sitting there and a lot of the times really easy to spend, especially around the holidays where so much buying is in order. It’s never fun to receive an online bill or bill in the mail showing how much you owe back, my moto is if it’s not in your account don’t charge it, because most likely if you can’t pay cash for it you won’t be able to pay it back to your bank. Try and stick to your cash budget plan, or if you are going to use your credit card say to gain more miles or points depending on the type of card and rewards you have, then make sure you have the money in your checking’s account to repay it back right away!
Do online shopping for some things. Let’s face it, everywhere you go around the holidays is PACKED, so packed in fact that it can be stressful to think about where you’re going to park, and is what you wanted still going to be in store. There are so many things to think about when you are going into the craziness of the malls/shops around Christmas time. It can be helpful to look online first and lighten the load of your list that way, instead of worrying about long lines and pushy people! Plus sometimes you can even find better deals online that you wouldn’t necessarily find in store!
Don’t procrastinate. We all know that at Christmas time even a month before things start to decrease quickly off the shelves! So don’t wait! Go and do you shopping at least a month before December or as early as October! There is nothing worse than waiting last minute to find out that what you really wanted to get someone isn’t there anymore and won’t be back in stores until Christmas is over! You don’t want to be left with slim pickings because that will sure dampen your mood! Also another plus of shopping early is that you miss all the chaos and hustle and bustle!
Do check return policies. Make sure ESPECAILLY if its clothing or shoes that you always ask customer service what their return policy is as all stores are different. It’s never fun to receive or give a gift to someone that either doesn’t fit or isn’t exactly what they need OR maybe they got two of. It’s always best practice to get a gift receipt with your purchase and know for yourself what the return policy is so that you know they can take it back if they need to!
I hope everyone has a stress free shopping experience this year, and you get everything on your list! Merry Christmas!