Guess what time it is? It’s holiday time, which means it’s time to shop! How will you organize your shopping this year?
Facts to prepare you for your holiday shopping:
- 13.6 million Americans still haven’t paid off debt related to last year’s winter holidays. Do you have this issue too? Read more.
- In 2011, the average American spent $646 on holiday gifts. In 2012, it was expected that the average American will be spending $854 in gifts for friends and loved ones. What could this year be? $1,000+ for gifts? Read more.
Here are a few tips in order to prepare for your holiday shopping in a successful way:
- Create a budget. One of the biggest problems during the holiday season is not knowing how much you need to spend on gifts while not setting a budget. Before you begin your shopping, create a budget on how much you want/need to spend on each friend, family member and loved one. This will keep you organized and relieve you of the panic attack that may come later when you find your crinkled receipts with those three digit numbers. Be aware of how much you’re spending during the months of November and December.
- Stay Focused. Shopping malls are hectic during the Holiday season, especially once Thanksgiving passes. Large crowds, little parking options, stressed shoppers and tempting clearance signs – all things to avoid when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Before you begin your holiday shopping, create a list of who you need to shop for and what you will be buying for them.
- Outline the stores you want to shop at. Depending on the mall that you shop at, you may get overwhelmed if there are people everywhere and long lines. Create a list of the stores you need to visit and how long you need to spend at each store. You can even prepare your shopping list by looking online first and getting an idea for what your person of choice may like.
- Avoid signing up for new credit cards. During your shopping experience you may be tempted by all the deals you get when you sign up for a credit card at your purchase. 20% off an entire purchase? This can be a dangerous and tempting situation. Think clearly while shopping and stand your ground when every sales person asks you to open a new credit card.
- Pace yourself. You may want to spread out your holiday shopping over a week or so. If you cram it all into one day, this may cause you to get tired and not think clearly on your spending choices. Possibly limit your shopping to two people in each shopping trip. This will also depend on how many people you need to shop for.
- Get creative with your shopping. Instead of visiting your local mall like everyone else, step outside of the box and shop online for shop second hand items. You can DIY a piece of furniture, find a collectible for your grandma or shop for a vintage watch or jewelry. By shopping online for second hand items, this can save money, time and add a personal touch to the gift. Also, consider making something yourself! This may not have the same perks as the new iPad, but I am sure your recipient will treasure it for a long time.
In conclusion, remember that your holiday shopping can be a fun, smooth and enjoyable experience. Don’t make the worst of it by being unprepared and remember, don’t wait until the last minute!
Good luck fellow shoppers!