We often let the holiday season creep up on us and end up repeating the same mistakes. It’s tough to balance shopping and figuring out which gifts are the best every year. We have five tips for perfect holiday shopping this year.
Steer Away from Gift CardsYou think everyone loves a gift card, but you could be wrong. Gift cards usually get stuffed in a random place where the person forgets about them. It’s almost better to hand the person some money in a cute way. Also, check for an expiration date on your gift card to ensure they can spend it soon.
Stick by a Budget and a ListIt’s smart to make a list of gifts and write your budget beside this list. Doing this will help you see where you’re at in spending. You’ll need to plan for random purchases that you may make along the way, too. You might know how much you’re probably going to spend. Don’t put impulse buys on a credit card. Try to pay with a debit card or with cash.
Shop OnlineYou don’t even have to step in a store to check out the hottest toys for Christmas this year or the best gifts for loved ones. You can shop online before going to pick things up at a local store. Doing this helps you save money on shipping, and you don’t have to fight the crowds. You get to shop whenever you feel. Take notes on different websites and favorite the pages so you can revisit them later.
Check Out DealsDeals start way before Christmas. Most businesses want to bring in more customers by the end of the year. Keep those store flyers so you can compare them. Dig for coupons and specials online. Make sure you check out the refund and exchange policies if you’re buying early. You don’t want the person not to return it in January if it doesn’t work out for them.
Choose Battles WiselyShopping is stressful. When you set out on the weekends to a big mall, you’ll get sucked up by the crowd. Try to go shopping during the week. The mornings or even early weeknights are best for shopping. Doing this will give you peace, so you aren’t standing in long lines, too. Choose your battles wisely. Decide if you want to stand in a long line, fight people for the same gift, and walk a few miles to the entrance during peak shopping times. Also, start your shopping early to help alleviate some of the pain.
Shopping should be a fun, exciting time. Take time out to budget and prepare for your loved ones this holiday season. The most important thing is to feel the joy and love your friend, or family member will experience as they open their gifts. All your stress and planning will pay off once you get that “thank you” hug.