As Christmas approaches, you’re probably starting to get a little nervous thinking about how you can have a great holiday season without spending all of your money. You want to treat the people you care about but it’s also important to remember your financial goals.
It’s always smart to start your shopping with a budget in mind and these tips should help you save a bit of cash as you shop.
1. Buy Group Gifts
Rather than buying a single gift for each person, check if you might be able to get something better by purchasing a group gift. For instance, if your sister has four kids and you usually spend around $20 on each, consider purchasing a large item they can share for $50.
2. Wrap Items Separately
You know gift-giving is more about the thought than anything else, but kids – and even some grown-ups – really enjoy seeing piles of presents under the tree. If this is the case for the loved ones in your life, consider wrapping gifts individually. You don’t necessarily need to open up the original packaging to do this, but if you have add-on items that go with a present, wrap those individually. For instance, you might wrap a pair of gloves and a hat separately.
3. Shop with Discounted Gift Cards
While you might find these on Kijiji, there are also websites offering discounted gift cards. In most cases, the cards are a gift that someone received but couldn’t use. You usually get bigger discounts for more obscure cards but you can still get a small discount at big-name stores.
4. Make Some Christmas Gifts
Christmas gifts don’t have to be store bought and you don’t need to have a lot of creative skills to pull off some fantastic gifts. You can decorate coffee mugs, create Christmas decorations, or even ramp up your cookie-making efforts. With a little reasearch, you'll be able to find plenty of great DIY Christmas gift ideas that are sure to be appreciated.
5. Buy Less Expensive Gifts
Many people think of the perfect gift and purchase it no matter what the cost. While it’s nice to give everyone on your list an elaborate gift, sometimes something smaller works just as well. Fuzzy socks and a Christmas tree ornament often cost less than $5 but they can delight just as much as that $25 gift you’ve been thinking about.
6. Start a Gift Draw
When you have a restricted budget, it makes sense to stop giving gifts to everyone you know. Start a secret Santa or gift draw so you only have to give one gift. It also offers you another excuse to get together with people you care about to do the gift exchange while reducing the number of gifts you have to buy.
7. Abandon Your Shopping Cart
While we wouldn't recommend this while you're out shopping, there’s no harm in abandoning your shopping cart while you're browsing online. In fact, many retailers will email you a day or two after you’ve abandoned a purchase with a special deal like free shipping or a discounted price. Sign up for an account with the retailer, then add things to your shopping cart while you’re logged in. See if they send you emails to get you to finish your purchase.
8. Stock Up on Sales
When you see a good deal, don’t be afraid to stock up. This works especially well for stocking stuffers and other small token gifts you might give to friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with giving a lot of people the same type of gift if you personalize it in some way.
9. Don’t Shop for Yourself
With all the great deals, it’s tempting to treat yourself as well. Unfortunately, this will probably cause you to go over budget. Focus only on purchasing gifts you plan to give to others. Save shopping for yourself for Boxing Week. There are also good sales during that week and you’ll probably have a bit of Christmas money or gift cards to spend at that time.
You can get gifts for your loved ones without breaking the bank. Simply pay close attention to your budget when you shop and you’ll be in a good position.