How To Shop Smart This Christmas
The following is a guest post on behalf of Money Supermarket.
How much money are you planning to spend this holiday season? Have you already set a budget or are you just going to spend until you have everything that you need and want?
You probably already recognize that the latter options could set you up for some major spending and even some major debt by the end of the experience. If you aren’t interested in draining your savings account then there are ways to put the brakes on the outflow of cash.
Start by figuring out where the money goes. For most people presents seem to be where a majority of money is spent.
You can’t completely give up on gift giving, but you can make alterations to the way you plan and shop for the people in your life. In most cases, if you have a set plan, there is a good chance that you are still going to have all the presents that you need without spending your usual amount of money.
Don’t wait till the last minute. While there are great deals to be had at the last minute, shopping all year long to prepare for the holidays saves money and takes away the stress you experience as Christmas time approaches. After Christmas sales are one of the best ways to take advantage of deals and prepare for the following year.
Making a list of the people you shop for and some idea of what you want to get them can also help. You can keep the list with you at all times and mark them off when you have the gift.
Even if you have waited till the last minute you can still save with a list and a budget for each person that you choose to buy for.
Consider making adjustments to your current decorating ideas. Do you go out and purchase new or updated decorations every year? This is a huge waste of cash!
Instead, consider improvising with some other alternatives. Your home does not have to be soaked in bright red and green to show that you have the holiday spirit. Keep the things that you love and consider using them year after year.
If you don’t have something that you really think that you need, consider putting it on your list for the after Christmas sales. In the meantime, make a substitution.
There is no need for every plate, tablecloth, throw pillow and saltshaker to have Christmas plastered over it. Everything in moderation.
Children are wonderful at creating something out of nothing. Let the kids come up with their own holiday decorations. Get out the construction paper, the glue and the glitter.
Give them some time to come up with their own creations and place them all over the house. This is a great way to see what the real meaning of Christmas is – family.
Instead of money, consider time. Skip over the traditional gifts and find better ways to spend time together throughout the year. Many people call this the gift of experience. Instead of shopping with the kids, sit down at the table and get into the glitter and glue along with them. These moments are priceless and they cannot be replaced by any type of present or amount of money.
One of the most important things to remember is that the amount of money that you spend is in no way a reflection of your Christmas spirit or love of the holidays.
Today, saving money, not going on a wild spending spree and even cutting back on some of the major expenses can leave you with more money in your checking account and relieve you of some of the stress that can tend to take over this time of year.
Article provided by Moneysupermarket, the UK’s number one comparison site for a range of financial products. As the saving season is almost upon us, why not see if you can save with an ISA at moneysupermarket.