The holidays are here which means another season of gift-giving. If you’re worried about how you’re going to make it through without breaking the bank, we’ve got you covered. These 7 holiday shopping hacks will save you hundreds of bucks.
1. Be picky about who you give gifts to.
Giving gifts to everyone you know might leave you crying in January when the bills come. Take some time to think about the people who’ve really had a profound impact on your life the past year and weed out the rest. Having a list of people you want to give gifts to eliminates any last-minute shopping splurges.
2. Write down possible gifts for each person.
Before heading to the store, write down possible gifts for each lucky person on your ‘Nice’ list. If you’re crafty, they might even like something you made yourself. Remember that you don’t have to shell out all your extra cash on specific gifts if it’s not feasible on your budget. Get the best gift that works for your pocket.
3. Stick to a budget, and be strict about it.
Since you’ve already got a list of people and gift ideas ready, why not also set a budget for each person? Just come up with an amount that you’re willing to spend and then divide how much you want to spend on each person on your list. For example, your spouse probably gets around 30-40% of the total budget so you’ll have to adjust the rest of the 60-70% for everyone else on your list. Once you’ve got your budget ready, stick to it.
4. Compare prices from different stores.
Some stores have cheaper prices for the same item in a different store. Sometimes shopping online can even give you greater bang for your buck than a physical store. An app called Pricejump produces prices from online stores and physical stores near you when you scan an item’s barcode.
5. Make coupon apps your best friend.
6. Pay in cash.
People that get into debt troubles after the holidays are usually the ones who shop without cash. Why? Ellie Kay, a family finance expert and author of “Lean Body, Fat Wallet” says that “many people simply swipe more on a credit card especially when they don’t have the cash.” Using and spending tangible cash makes you spend less and stick to your holiday budget.
7. Celebrate for free!
Gifts aren’t the only things people spend a lot on this merry season. You don’t have to spend so much to enjoy your holiday—go out and enjoy the Christmas lights around your city or check your local community board for free events. You can also put a smile on other people’s faces by doing volunteer work.