I know, I can hear you all groaning. Christmas shopping can be a pain, but if you plan ahead, and stick to your plans, it’s not going to be that bad.
I have always been known to start Christmas shopping early, sometimes the day after Christmas. Stores sometimes have really great after Christmas sales. It’s also a great time to stock up on wrapping paper, tags, and Christmas cards. Most stores don’t want to hang onto them for a whole year, so they clearance them out.
First thing that you want to do is make a list. Decide who you’re shopping for this year, and then decide what you’d like to get them.
Next, set a limit. You should have a top amount that you’re going to spend on each person, and don’t go over it. That doesn’t mean that each person’s amount is the same. I would allot more for my husband’s gift, then for my aunt.
Probably most importantly, pay in cash! Shopping with a credit card, especially early shopping, means you’re paying interest on that gift months before they recipient receives it. Using a credit card also makes it easier for you to go over your limits you’ve set.
Always shop sales. By starting your shopping so early, and making a list so you know what you’re looking for, you can be watching for sales for that particular item you’re looking for. Ayanna has mentioned a Shopkins karaoke machine several times, and I just found it on Walmart’s website on clearance! Score!
$65.88 Now $24.00
Don’t go crazy when buying for the kids though. They can only play with so many toys. Make sure it’s something you think they’d really enjoy, not just something to add to the clutter.
Buy combined gifts when you can. Especially for couples, you can get a much better quality gift if you combine the money allotted for each of them, and buy one nice gift. For example, if I’m allowing $75 per adult child, (including their spouses,) I could buy my son and his wife this Hitachi Alpha 32″ LED Smart TV as a combined gift.
$159.99 Now $139.99
Last, but least, wrap as you go. There is nothing more daunting then to look at a pile of gifts waiting to be wrapped. Because some of my granddaughters live with me, I really have no choice but to wrap as I buy. There is no place to hide them. Just make sure that the name tags are secured tightly to the packages, and that you keep an accurate list of what you’ve wrapped and for whom.
Most importantly, keep in mind that Christmas is a time for families to gather and be together. Gifts are just an added bonus. You shouldn’t put yourself into bankruptcy for it.