27 Sep How to get your Christmas shopping done ASAP and on budget
Dread hitting the malls each year in search of Christmas gifts? We feel you – crowded malls, inflated prices, and the stress of trying to ship stuff to distant loved ones before the Big Day isn’t our idea of fun either.
For this reason, it helps to get started early. Not only will this approach help you actually enjoy the holiday season, but it can also save you some serious cash.
Follow the tips outlined below and find the holiday joy that’s been missing in your life since you were young.
1) Set a budget
If you want to get your Christmas shopping done fast without bankrupting yourself, you’ll need to have a plan in place. Start by figuring out who you’re buying for – do you feel strongly about getting gifts for relatives, or do you want to keep things confined to best friends and immediate family?
Once you have made your list, set a budget. Find a limit per person you are willing to spend (feel free to set a higher one for important people like your partner or parents), and set to work saving up the money needed.
Having trouble setting aside cash? Go to your bank and have them divert a set amount from each paycheck into a separate savings account for Christmas shopping.
2) Take advantage of deals on Cyber Monday
Now that you have a reservoir of capital to spend on holiday gifts, ensure that you get the most for your money. To maximize your return, it is imperative you participate in the biggest sales of the year.
In the USA and other countries like Canada, Black Friday – the day following American Thanksgiving – offers some truly ridiculous deals. However, getting the best ones often means lining up in the dark & cold for hours, and in some cases, risking bodily injury when the doors open.
Thankfully, the internet has given us Cyber Monday. This day (which has turned into a week for many retailers) allows people to save massive amounts of money on a wide variety of goods, all from the comfort of their couch.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s a good list which highlights the best deals that several prominent online businesses are offering this year – happy hunting!
3) Identify sale periods for key gifts
As good as the deals are on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, we don’t advise waiting until the end of November to start your Christmas shopping. After all, if you’re looking to get your shopping done earlier, it helps to have it mostly done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.
So, how can you get a head start on your holiday shopping? Learn when the biggest sales of the year are for specific goods and strike when the iron is hot.
If you are uber-organized, you can find discounts on just about everything immediately following Christmas and into January. Know people who are into electronics? This is a particularly good time to hit the eerily quiet hallways of Best Buy.
Search online for when the best deals are for various classes of goods. For instance, March is the time to buy stuff for the golfer in your life, April is an excellent month to pick up jewellery for your love, and September is usually when iPhones and other Apple electronics are discounted in anticipation of the release of their newest models.
Do this, and not only will you be done in record time, you’ll have plenty of cash left over for awesome stocking stuffers and an epic spread of holiday food.