Worried you’ll overspend on Christmas gifts? Keep reading for some saving tips on last minute gifts and how to stay organized.
SAVING TIP 1: Determine your out the door, overall budget for Christmas gifts.
Take a close look at your finances and determine first, what is your absolute spending limit, that if you went over, you would be in a financial hole. As much as we want to get great and wonderful gifts for our loved ones, I don’t think any of them want you going into serious debt, or financial hardship just for the sake of getting a gift. I personally determine that limit for myself, and subtract $50-100 and THAT’S the limit I allow myself to spend for Christmas. That way, you have some wiggle room and if something happens to cost a little more, then you’re not dancing on the edge of that financial hole, does that make sense?
SAVING TIP 2: Make a list of the people you need to shop for
We all have that group of people, usually family and maybe some close friends, that we know will be getting us a gift and/or we want to buy a little something for regardless. For me, for example, is my immediate family that’s in Florida since that’s where we are spending Christmas. They are the must haves on the Santa Desi list. After I have knocked these gifts off my list, I look to see if there is room for any other extras that you might also want to buy a small gift for. Or maybe an extra gift for a spouse, child, etc., for that someone has been EXTRA good this year ;).
SAVING TIP 3: Determine a budget range for each person on the list.
Depending on what your loved ones have on their Christmas list, you will be able to at least have an idea of what you will spending on their gift. For instance, if someone on your list has an expensive electronic they are asking for, that will be a bigger chunk of your budget, and you might be spending a bit less on the others on your list. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are always those on your list who would pretty much be happy with a rock if that’s all you gave them. Those are the ones you can get more creative with :).
For example, my mom, my sister and her husband are those people on my list for me. I still want to give them something thoughtful, so I’ve decided to make a photo album for my mom with pics of us, and my sister, and pictures from my wedding as well. VistaPrint.com has such great deals on just regular photo albums, calendars, etc. I’m creating a 2016 calendar for my mom for a whopping $7.99.
Then for my sister and husband, she’s been asking for pictures from my wedding that my photographer took of her and her family, and even before she asked, I decided I wanted to purchase a nice frame with a beautiful, professional picture of her and her family. I found this adorable, white rustic 8×10 frame on Amazon once again, for, get ready…… $9.59!!!!
Anyway, I wanted to just give you some examples so you can see how easy it can be to get great, meaningful gifts without breaking the bank.
SAVING TIP 4: Always always check the SALE or CLEARANCE section of any store or website first!!
This has been my rule of thumb for years, ever since I started online shopping, and before then, I always perused the sale rack first at any store I stepped foot in. I would say that 80% of the time, I find something I really like in these sections, for a really great discount! Depending on what store you go to, some of these racks will be more organized than others. I understand the concern many have about not wanting to sort through a bunch of stuff to find something, but for those stores that are less pleasant to shop clearance in, I go online to their clearance section, filter by my size and how much I want to spend, and just like that, I know what I even have as viable options.
Usually, by filtering these two things out, I only end up browsing for a few minutes until I find something that catches my eye, or decide there’s nothing there I need. This leads to my last and final tip.
SAVING TIP 4: Stop Procrastinating!
OK, I am the first to say I’m usually very guilty of this. My family always bought gifts last minute growing up, and so that’s all I’ve ever known until my deal-searching ways have led me to realize the best prices are NOT found last minute! Sure there are exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, there are way better deals on most items throughout the year way before the holidays. For example, cold-weather items are going to be heavily discounted right around the end of spring as stores are clearing their inventories for their summer lines of clothing. And vice versa. Or even right after Christmas, deals left and right! My favorite pair of boots I wear all the time this winter, I got them right around January last year for like 60% off at Nordstrom Rack! So as soon as Christmas is over this year, start planning for NEXT year! I’m not even exaggerating. I’m not saying buy everything now, but if you see things throughout the year and think, “oh, susie Q would LOVE something like this” just buy it! It’ll come in handy as a gift whether its for a birthday or the Holidays.
What other ways have you found to save money? Thoughts? Comment them below!