There are any number of things that you’ll want to avoid in order to make the upcoming holidays more tolerable – maybe even downright pleasant. But one of the biggest hurdles will be saving money. In an economy that shows few signs of improving any time soon, how does one shop for all of their friends and loved ones but still manage not to break the bank?
Avoiding some of the most common Holiday Shopping mistakes is a good step in the right direction toward getting the most for your money. Here are a few tips on how to side-step the biggest holiday shopping faux pas.
The Holiday Budget
This isn’t something that only runs from November through December 31st. The holiday budget is something that you need to incorporate and contribute to all year round. Take a little money every month and throw it in a “Christmas account”, special savings account (if you don’t do Christmas), or even in your sock drawer. If possible, find an account that builds interest. Every little bit helps, after all. Don’t touch it until you start your holiday shopping. That may be the hardest part.
No Last Minute Shopping!
Waiting until the last minute to shop is the worst thing you can do. The only thing that results from this is bad prices and bad gifts. Few things inspire more dread in a shopper than near empty aisles and a long shopping list. There are some awesome buys to be had right after the holiday rush, however. Shop those to get a truly early start on you holiday shopping for next year.
My Momma Told Me…
You better shop around. (Pardon the reference to an old Captain and Tennille song). It’s true, though. Comparison shopping tends to right out the window, the closer you get to your deadline. Yet another reason to shop early. Save time and gas money by scoping out prices online. If you really detest the whole shopping scene, do all of your holiday shopping online.
Make A List
And check it twice. Nothing’s worse than getting a gift from someone and having nothing to give them because you forgot to put them on your list. Cross off each name as you go to avoid doubles.
Stay On Course
Don’t go overboard when it comes to how many gifts to buy or how much you spend on them. Giving more thought than money toward the purchase of a holiday present will assure a better present and a more flexible budget.
If Possible – Avoid The Plastic
This refers to your credit card. You may have no choice, but if you took heed regarding the earlier tip about saving and budgeting, you may be able to avoid using those high interest credit cards.
All About The Budget
Not only is it important to stick to your holiday budget, in order for it to work properly, it is crucial that you figure in ALL of your holiday spending. Remember, there are going to be parties, holiday cards and postage, travel expenses, etc. Those all take money.
Gifts are great but sometimes the best course of action is to just send money. It’s actually what many people prefer. If you want to send money out of the U.S. this season, use an easy online money transfer platform like Sharemoney!
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