With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are scampering around and trying to get our Christmas wish lists done. Office parties, family reunions, and maybe even holiday vacations are in store. But when it comes to expenses, most of us have trouble with our shopping list – whether it’s for gifts or your grocery budget for a hearty Christmas meal. There’s always the pressure to overspend, considering the last month comes with a windfall of money from office bonuses, to gift cheques from friends, or even government mandated incentives. If you’re one of the individuals looking to save money during the holidays, check out the tips below.
Take Advantage of Pre-Holiday Sale
Many shopping malls and commercial centres hold pre-Christmas sale. These events usually coincide with the end of a season – summer, mid-year, or even Halloween. Take advantage of these seasonal sales instead of rushing to complete your Christmas wish list during December. Even though the holiday season may have its slew of festive sales, the crowd and chaos may prevent you from purchasing all that you need in time. To make the most out of the pre-Holiday sales, start saving as early as March or allotting money for the Christmas season during the summer. While it may seem too early, you’ll enjoy shopping for surplus items from the previous holidays, or taking advantage of great discounts for the summer or back-to-school sale.
Make an actual list and budget
No matter how many times we say we have to shop for our family and friends’ Christmas wish list, do we actually make a list? One of the easiest ways to save money is to write what you need to buy during the Holidays. Going to malls unprepared will make an individual easy to fall for impulse buying. Having a list, and a budget to go with it, should encourage the person to stick to it. And yes, you don’t have to buy a gift for each and every one of your colleagues. Limit your wish list to the closest people in your hearts, and you will minimize the dent on your wallet as well. Here are some of the top deals and bargains you can check out.
Buy in bulk
If you’re really keen on giving ever person you know presents on Christmas day ala Santa Clause, buy in bulk. Malls, thrift stores, and shops often give volume discounts during the holidays. Most of these items are trinkets or supplies – from paperweights to dining utensils; party favors to sweet treats.
Keep your receipts
During your Christmas shopping endeavours, always remember to keep your receipts. Tracking your spending will provide you accurate and historical data in terms of your shopping habits. This practice is beneficial for those who enjoy shopping during the holiday rush, since having all your receipts organized will make it easier to follow the return or exchange policies of merchants – who knows, you might have gotten a shirt two size bigger for your husband!
Pay in cash as much as possible
When there is a ton of items to buy, it’s always tempting to swipe your MasterCard instead. During the holidays, it’s better to pay cash or use a debit card. The latter provides safer cashless transactions for those worried about bringing too many bills along with them. If you insist on using a credit card, choose the one which offers the lowest rates and allows you to transfer balance. However if by November you still can’t afford to pay off your credit, leave the card at home. For those swiping it away during the holiday rush, it’s best to pay all your balance in full the following month, which is January of the new year, rather than pay it gradually in the coming months as it would hurt your credit score. Make the most out of your credit cards too, by using accumulate points to purchase gifts or enjoy freebies; or to avail of discounts from partner merchants.