As we all know, shopping during the holiday season can be very painful. Massive crowds of people in every department store, long lines at the cash register and the inability to find what you're looking for because it's sold out are all enough to drive a person insane. Let's not even mention what it does to your wallet! Well don't fear my friends! That's what I'm here for, to help you through times like these.
To aid you all in your quest for shopping smart during the holiday shopping season, I put together a list of 5 ways you can ease your mind and shop smart at the same time.
Here they are:
1. Start Early!
This is such an important step guys. I'm not sure how your paychecks go but mine come twice per month and the last time I checked, bills don't stop coming just because it's Christmas. And please DO NOT under any circumstances take out a loan just to buy Christmas gifts…I don't even want to get into how irresponsible that is. There's no rule for how early you can start…you don't have to wait until after Thanksgiving. If you know what you plan to buy, why not just get it and put it up…which brings me to #2…..
2. Give yourself a budget, make a list…and STICK TO IT!
This should be common sense. Your goal in all of this should never be to spend all you can and worry about the expenses later. Determine how much you can spend, and make a list of all the people you plan to buy a gift for. Christmas should not be about how much you can spend on gifts…folks should feel lucky they were even thought of.
3. Shop online when you can and look for coupons
I'm an avid online shopper so this one is straight from my heart. You'd be surprised how many online stores offer free shipping and percentages off throughout the holiday shopping season. Trust me when I say, shopping online now rivals shopping in store any day. Do your homework. If you started early (like I suggested) then you have time to do price comparisons and look for online coupons. I like to go on websites like Retail Me Not and Fat Wallet when I do my online shopping. These sites can offer some amazing deals.
4. When you do shop in store, use cash
Simply put, holiday shopping is fun. It's easy to ignore your conscience and go overboard so the best way to avoid that is to leave the credit cards at home and go shopping with cash only. I know that sounds harsh, but believe me, if you take those credit cards you're going to use them…and you'll regret it later.
5. When you shop in store, shop alone
This one is going to be the hardest to avoid. Getting into the "holiday spirit" is pretty hard to accomplish if you're out by yourself so I understand if most of you can't stick to this rule. Friends and family have the power of influence, and that can put a hurting on your wallet. Just be careful when you're out shopping with others.
There you have it! 5 ways to keep your sanity and shop smart during the holiday season! Have fun out there!
Until next time!