We all know how hectic the Christmas period can be, especially with Christmas shopping being one of the main culprits for people’s stress this time of the year. Like me, you might be behind with your Christmas shopping and need a bit of help with getting yourself sorted, so that you can breathe a sigh of relief when it’s all done and you know that you’ve done a good job. You also might be reading this and thinking that you’ve already finished, but could have been more organised or been more practical with your spending. The tips I’m going to be sharing with you today are going to make it a hell lot easier whether it’s for now or next year.
1. Have a list – You might have asked others to write a list for you of what they might like or they might have given you an idea of what they are after this year, gather all the ideas you’ve been told from your loved ones or any ideas you might have as to what to get them and put together your own list. This way you have somewhere to always refer back to and it mean’s you’re not forgetting any important ideas. You can bring this with you when you’re out shopping or ordering online, then once it’s bought you can tick it off and continue with the next.
2. Don’t rush it – Sometimes I find that because things come out in the shops and online around October time, that people think they have to go out and do it all in one go, just so that they’re prepared and don’t have to do it all over the busier period. But this might mean that you end up rushing it all in one go and you might be careless with your choices or spending. Remember to be wise with your spending and don’t think you have to do it all in one go. But also don’t leave it all to the last minute. Give yourself a couple of weeks to gather ideas and purchase presents. Don’t worry about it. Just relax. There’s still plenty of time.
3. Plan your online shop – If you don’t want to brave any busy shopping centres or high streets, then sticking to shopping online might be the best option for you. But still remember to stick to that list or plan you have in mind, so you don’t end up over spending or over purchasing for your loved ones. Of course treat them, but know your limits and what your end goal is.
4. Make it special – You don’t have to spend lots of money on luxurious things to make Christmas presents special. In my opinion, the ones that have had the most thought and creativity put into them always win me over. If you are on a small budget, think about what you could do to make an extra special present but for your budget. This might be a beauty hamper, a stocking filled with fun jokey gifts, a sweet treat or savoury box, a mason jar with ingredients for a simple cake or cookie recipe inside for those who love to bake.
5. Gift tokens – If you have someone who’s hard to buy for or you find yourself unsure of what to get them, then gift tokens can be a great alternative that you know will go to good use. This gives the receiver the opportunity to taken control of their gift and spend it how they want to. This could be a gift token for a restaurant, a shopping centre or certain store, for Netflix or the Cinema, there’s hundreds to choose from, so pick wisely!
6. Start saving – This is probably best for a couple of weeks before, but still can apply to even now. If you’ve just had pay day, then remember to save as much money as you can for when you go present buying. You don’t want to be running out of money come the day you plan to do your shopping. It’s also probably good to budget yourself so that you don’t overspend either.
7. Have a Christmas present hide out – Once you’ve purchased a few gifts or all of them, you’re going to want somewhere to store them to keep them out of eye shot from your loved ones, particularly if you live with most of the people you’ve bought for. Pick somewhere that only you know about or that no one in your home really goes to a lot, this might be a particular cupboard or somewhere within your drawers or wardrobe. Even under the bed is a good shout.
8. Make the most of the sales – Black Friday, Black weekend and cyber Monday have literally just been, so you might have picked up a few bits over the past few days. If not, then there’s always room for next year or even purchasing gifts for people in the Boxing day/January sales that are just around the corner. This means you will be extra prepared for the next year and won’t have to worry about present buying come the next Christmas.
9. Check out offers and deals – We’ve touched on sales shopping, but also look around for offers and deals on. A few places might offer the same sort of present you’re after, so it’s always best to have a look around and see if any are offering any offers or deals on what you’re looking for. This is also a great chance to check out price comparisons and see if you can get something for cheaper elsewhere.
10. Go shopping as early as you can – This doesn’t just mean early on in the festive period, but this means getting up early and heading out shopping as early as possible. Come noon most shopping centres and towns will be packed out over December with Christmas shoppers, so the earlier you come in the less time you’ll spend venturing out with everyone else. Plus this means you get the first look at what to buy!
11. Budget – Stick to a budget! Have this budget in mind even before you begin shopping. Know how much you’re going to spend on everyone and how much all together you want to spend in total.
12. Order in advance – If you’re buying online, try to order as in advance as possible. Most deliveries and mails throughout December get very busy, so a usual 2-3 working days might be a little stretched, because of how busy things are with everyone ordering and posting things out. So do this first! Also try to look for places offering free or reduced deliveries to help you save some money.
13. Bring someone with you – If you can, it’s always best to bring someone with you. This can be good for second opinions of gifts, but also to help ensure you keep within your budget and don’t drive yourself crazy trying to rush around for everyone. You can also make a day of it, perhaps popping for some lunch or a coffee and cake when you get a little peckish in between all the shopping.
How is your Christmas shopping going? Have you finished?
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