Have a Stress-Free Christmas Shopping

We all agree that Christmas is typically one of the most stressful events of the year. The daunting task of buying gifts and last-minute shopping are wrapped in gift that might explode. To relieve some—if not all—that Christmas stress, let us provide you with these practical tips.

Create a draft budget – As early as you can in the New Year, list down the expected expenses for the coming Christmas. Don’t forget to include hidden expenses like food bills and overseas telephone charges.

Calculate your savings – You can dedicate a percentage of your income every week to save for your Christmas expenses. Do not be discouraged if the amount seems small. Saving as little as $5.00 every week can go a long way come holidays.

Readjust your budget to a more realistic setting – If you see that your savings could not be enough for that dream Christmas, set your sights on a more realistic plain. Adjust your Christmas budget according to what you have. Besides, Christmas is still about giving and sharing no matter what the amount is.

Keep your hands off the budget – Do not fall into the temptation of picking even the smallest amount on your holiday savings. If you want, you could open up a bank savings account just for that purpose.

Buy presents only for children – If you have a large family, it won’t hurt if you become selective on your gift list. But still, you should prioritize the children (from your own children to your other relatives’ children) when giving gifts. Remember that Christmas is for the children.

Do a “Kris Kringle” – For the adults, a more convenient and more practical way of gift-giving is putting up a Kris Kringle, where—weeks before Christmas—everyone draws a name out of a hat and buys a present only for that person. Gather again come Christmas Day and exchange gifts.

Set a limit at the cost of presents – At these trying times, it would be understandable why we have to stretch the budget when it comes to the kinds of gifts you want to give for Christmas.

Make a Christmas shopping list – If you wait for inspiration as you go shopping, you could be wandering endlessly around the mall for hours. It is best to prepare a list of what you plan on buying not only to create close-to-good decisions, but also to prevent impulsive buying.

Shop early – Don’t do your holiday shopping a week or two before Christmas. This is the time when the prices would suddenly go up. It is advisable to do your Christmas shopping on November, or when Christmas items are being introduced at the stores. Some shoppers even shop after Christmas to get discounted items, in anticipation of next year’s Christmas.

Buy a few extras – If you got extra money after all that shopping, don’t forget to purchase some little things like chocolates, just in case you have unexpected guests bearing gifts for you.

Shop through other means – Not only you could get great deals at the stores, you could also purchase your holiday gifts through catalog or over the Internet. Some companies even wrap the gifts and send them on your behalf for an additional fee.

 
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