Admit it, you need holiday shopping tips to save money and keep your sanity. Everyone does. Holiday shopping is stressful and sucks all the cash from your wallet faster than a Dyson vacuum cleaner. If you’re like I was years ago, you race off to the store, buy whatever looks good, and get out of dodge. Once you get home, however, you realize you need to make another trip to the store. But, you don’t. Instead, you put it off until Christmas Eve, facing off against the gauntlet of holiday shoppers who also procrastinated. When it’s all over, your bank account hurts harder than a punch in the face by Mike Tyson.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. All you have to do is make a few changes, follow these financial tips for the holidays, and Christmas shopping can be easy, quick, and might even save you a few bucks along the way. Ready to be a better shopper and tackle your holiday shopping like a boss? Then check out these Holiday Shopping Tips To Save Money and Keep Your Sanity!
Make a budget.
It might sound lame, boring, and the epitome of “adulting,” but I implore you to make a budget. This goes double for all of you who want to use credit cards during holiday shopping. Budgets are relatively easy to make. Find out how much you can set aside for shopping, and set limits for each person you’re shopping for.
If you stick to the budget, you’ll be surprised how much harder you’ll look for deals that fit your price range. Those who budget well also find they save money by being under-budget.
Don't use a credit card without a budget.
If you don’t follow the first step of making a budget before you shop, then definitely don’t use a credit card. Impulse buying is way too easy while using credit cards, and your bill will be monstrous when the holidays are over. You don’t want that kind of stress. So, before you use a credit card, budget your money.
I can’t stress enough the importance of being organized and prepared before you hop in the car and drive off to the nearest mall. First, make a checklist of the items you need and the stores that’ll provide them.
Then, plan and strategize your trip around saving gas and time rather than driving all over the place. Driving from place to place will only suck up valuable time you could be using for other things. You can easily plot out your trip using Google Maps.
Save gas by shopping online.
In this day and age, it might sound like a no-brainer to shop online for the holidays, and it’s probably something you’re already doing, but you might be surprised how easy it is to forget this option, especially for certain items.
Shopping online has the unique benefit of saving you time and gas money. You don’t have to wait in line at the checkout or drive all over the place to find something. Whatever you do, don’t buy something that doesn’t have free shipping.
The biggest downside to online shopping is not being able to see the product before you buy it. Sure, product reviews help, but they’re not a sure-fire way to know if its a good product or not. Keep that in mind before you pull the trigger.
Watch the scanned prices.
For a long time, the last thing I paid attention to was if the products rang up correctly at checkout. Tired and eager to be done shopping, I just wanted to go home. Big mistake.
Anytime you checkout at the store, watch and double check that the prices are scanned correctly. Sometimes it won’t give you the sale price, while other times you might have been bamboozled into thinking you were getting a sale when, in fact, you weren’t.
Sometimes they don’t show you an itemized list at checkout but just the total cost; best way to know things are adding up is to add up the prices before you reach the checkout counter.