This year may very well be the year that I exercise the most restraint that I have ever used doing my Christmas shopping. With that said, I would like to share some helpful hints for avoiding over spending…
These are really common sense ideas but ones that I have never chosen to tap into. Could I be one of the many that look at Christmas and loose all sensibility? Well, yes I could be! Which is how I know so much!!
1. Make a plan, a list, and a budget. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It’s not! Choose your present carefully and make sure that it is a meaningful gift. It’s not important to spend a lot of money but to put a lot of thought into it. You can avoid last-minute panic shopping events at the mall by starting now while cooler heads still prevail.
Buy things in “sets” and then break them up into individual gifts made special by adding that touch that speaks to the person its intended for. Example: Candles in a set with a special holder for each that is just right for the person its purchased for. Or: A set of bowls given individually with special homemade cookies with a recipe that the person loves.
2. Dont use the credit cards…. unless it’s too late to save the cash. Spending with plastic makes you more likely to over spend. Stick to the list and the budget! Credit cards aren’t the enemy but its the way they allow us to spend that makes them a danger! January will not be pleasant if you don’t stick to the plan!
3. If you plan on shopping online, which many of us will, make sure you take advantage of the sites that will compare prices for you. Here are some that were used by people I know. I have not used them personally so exercise some caution and do your own research: Shopzilla , Pricewatch , and PriceGrabber .
When shopping online, remember to check for “promotional codes” and “coupon codes” on the sites you decide to use before you make your purchase. Although you may be getting a smokin deal, there may be more money to save and who doesn’t love that kind of opportunity?
One more footnote: Remember to factor in entertaining cost when you are making a budget and start stocking up on items that come on sale to cut the costs there, as well. Make your holiday menus based on the things that come on sale. No one will care if its ham or turkey, peas or green beans… unless they hate those food items or they have allergies. 😉 Also a big help is that holiday cookies and goodies can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer in sealed bags. Then you can have a last-minute gift idea! You will also have more time to enjoy the season and be relaxed enough to have some fun in a stressful time. How much would the people around you like that?? Very much, I am guessing…..
So, let’s make this a great year despite the economy, remember to buy “made in the USA” where you can and let’s work smarter not harder.
Lady Godiva on wheels…. FYI, done Christmas shopping. Oh, don’t hate me!!