Don’t Let the Holiday Season Leave you Broke
It will soon be upon us that time of year which bring us good cheer with time off from work, meeting the extended family and generally have a great time. Unfortunately for most of us it leads to a lot of stress, excessive indulgences and a much lighter wallet. If you don’t want to regret the lighter wallet part, read on and don’t let the holiday season leave you broke.
Budgeting the Spend:
The part of the Holidays that either gives you pleasure or is just an anxiety filling nail biting chore! The first thing to note here is to fix your budget on the shopping spends. Divide into categories – immediate family, extended family, important friends, colleagues, etc. Rewrite the list a couple of time, striking out whoever is not necessary. Understand what your family wants by talking to them and this is especially important when kids are involved. With their television viewing being constantly bombarded by ads, it is possible that their expectation may not match the gift received. So it is important to give them a realistic expectation for they would receive. For people on your list who do not know each other, it will be advantages to buy the same gift. Selecting the gift will be easy and could possibly get you a volume discount.
Also your budget should have a list of all the tips that you need to make to all the people that make your life easier especially that provide services to you. It cannot be emphasized how necessary it is to stay within budget. Keep aside 10-15% of your budget towards last minute plans or purchases. The point here is that money kept aside for gifts must only be used for that only Also do not forget all those extras that don’t make it into the budget – packing, postage, decorations and the like. Remember a good way to stay in budget would be to a debit card or card as with a credit card you will be tempted to overspend, not to mention the additional interest if you do not pay your bills on time. If must absolutely use a credit card, then do so judiciously.
Getting the best deal:
After the budget is fixed, the list drawn up and finalized, it is time to find out the best prices. Starting shopping early gives you more time to look for options and sometimes you may just get something that wasn’t planned for but is a great gift and just fits the budget right. As you keep striking more names off the list, you get more time to look for best deals for the remaining ones.
Start of by looking online at the shopping websites that will give you an indication of the prices you will expect to pay. You can also note the reviews for each of the products so that you can make an informed decision. Check out the deals at your local stores. Usually the online stores have fantastic pricing that you wouldn’t get in brick and mortar store. Using a price comparison website gives you more options on getting the better deal. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are good times to get a deal. Both these shopping days have their own websites which show all the advertisers that are promoting their productions for the sale on these days. It is prudent to keep a record of the prices that you have checked out earlier as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday may not really have exceptional deals than what you could get if you did a bargain hunt.
Save on your shipping costs by placing orders early and having them shipped at no additional cost. This is usually done before the last minute sales are done by the retailers.
Considering that a lot of gifts are just a repetitive of core commodities with a different look and feel, it would be good to consider homemade creativity items which may have less monetary value but make up in the feel good factor as it is a priceless personalized gift. You or someone at home needs to be creativity inclined in order to make a good homemade gift.
If you start early, be clear and diligent you don’t let the holiday season leave you broke.