With the arrival of November and December just around the corner, many people are getting their minds prepared for the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. Although Thanksgiving is the start of the annual Christmas and shopping season, with millions jumping on the traditional bandwagon, it’s surprising that many see maxing out their credit cards and buying for relatives they hardly speak too exhausting. It is extremely difficult to find time to shop between work, school, family, hobbies, and so forth. Moreover, entering the mall during the month of December is comparable to entering a war zone. Yet, it is unavoidable for millions of Americans. Fortunately, there are ways to make holiday shopping more enjoyable.
Set a Holiday Budget
Many shoppers feel obligated to shop for all their close family members. However, unless your family is unusually small, this can become a huge expense. Prior to entering department or retail stores in search of ideal presents, shoppers must set a realistic holiday budget. Some make the mistake of spending too much during the holidays, or maxing out credit cards in order to afford gifts. However, this is a bad move financially. The excitements of holiday shopping can easily turn into post-holiday blues. The blues generally occur after the credit card statement is received. Here are some easy tips to avoid the pitfall of spending too much during the holidays.
- Determine how much you can afford to spend
- Write down the names of individuals who will receive a gift
- Decide how much to spend on each person
The amount spent on each person will depend on the total amount you can afford to spend. For example, if you can afford to spend $500, and you have to buy presents for 20 people, each person could receive a gift worth no more than $25. Of course, adjustments should be made when necessary, such as spending more money on presents for immediate family members, and less money for co-worker presents. Those working with a strict or limited budget may need to eliminate people from their gift list. In lieu of gifts, perhaps you could bake holiday cookies and wrap them in decorative plastic with a bow. If possible, do most of your shopping with cash. Leaving credit cards and debit cards at home will eliminate the urge to overspend.
Complete Most of Shopping in One Day
Limiting the amount of times you visit retail and department stores is another way to experience a more enjoyable shopping season. During this time of year, the malls are jam packed, the parking lots are filled, and people are generally exhausted. By Christmas Eve, the giving, kind spirit showed earlier in the season is usually replaced with rudeness and desperation. To avoid the holiday hustle, try and complete the bulk of your shopping in one day.
When attempting to complete you holiday shopping in one day, choose a time and day that is less likely to be hectic. During the week is a great time. If possible, ask for a day off from work. Throughout the holiday shopping season, many stores open very early in the morning. Take advantage of these extended hours. Choose to shop in an area that has a lot of shopping centers. This will alleviate driving all across town. Department stores and retail stores such as Wal-Mart and Target are the perfect stops because they include items for everyone. Moreover, some of these chains are opened 24-hours, thus you can begin shopping while the majority of the world sleeps. Before heading out to shop, have in mind a gift to buy each person on your list. This will likely change throughout the day, however, it will give you a starting point.
Unless you enjoy crowded areas, try and avoid shopping on Saturdays and Sundays. This is more ideal for those in search of one or two presents. However, if you have a long list of friends and family, shopping during the busy times may leave you frustrated. While browsing is good, avoid browsing too much. Some shoppers have a habit of browsing many stores, than returning to buy presents. This is ideal when shopping for self or during other times of the year. However, if you hope to quickly complete your holiday shopping, budget your time wisely. Avoid excessive window shopping. If you locate a suitable gift within your budget – buy it.
Make it More Convenient
There is no holiday rule that states holiday shoppers must spend an obscene amount of money. Moreover, there is no rule that states gift giving is mandatory. In fact, many families across the country have decided to forego gift giving during the holiday. Additionally, some families have chosen to only exchange homemade gifts. Another method for saving money during the holiday season is buying a gift for a single family member. With this method, names of family members are placed into a hat. Each family member anonymously picks a name, and buys a present for their chosen person.
Those who enjoy, and can afford to purchase gifts for several family and friends, but hate the hassle of holiday shopping may choose to shop for their gifts online. The internet serves a variety of purchases. It enables us to pay our bills, attend college, research information, and shop. The internet contains millions of online stores. Items can be quickly and securely purchased, and shipped directly to the gift recipient.