Various polls that were recently undertaken have revealed that the majority of Americans intend spending between $800 and $900 when purchasing Christmas gifts this year. With Christmas being the largest of the gift-giving holidays, it makes sense that more than 20% of retailer’s sales are made during November and December.
When January rolls around, more than half of the shoppers surveyed noted that they had regrets about spending so much during December. However, this need not be the case if you plan ahead with regards to the financial side of your festive season shopping. Below are a few ways in which you can do this.
Determine how much you can Afford to Spend
Before setting foot in the mall or browsing any online shopping websites, establish a realistic budget for purchasing gifts and spending on other holiday-related products and services such as food, decorations, travel expenses if you’re visiting relatives and even gift wrap.
Divide your budget into various categories to see whether you’ll have enough money available to pay for everything – without resorting to your credit card. If the numbers don’t add up, cuts may need to be made to some categories in your spending plan.
Establish Expectations Quickly
If your holiday budget is smaller than it has been in previous years, you’ll need to either cut down on the amount of gifts being purchased or spend less on each recipient’s gift – but it’s crucial that you make your intentions in this regard known as early as possible. For instance, if you usually purchase costly gifts for nieces and nephews, let your siblings and in-laws know that your gifts may not be as lavish as they have been in previous years. This will help prevent any ill feelings when the time comes to open gifts.
Don’t Fall Prey to Retail Tricks
Even the savviest shoppers are known to overspend during the holidays – especially when so-called special offers are being pushed at the end of every aisle.
Although some retailers may have genuinely good offers on items you’re considering purchasing, many of them mark the items down that have been slow movers during the year. This allows them to make way for new stock when January rolls around.
Offers such as Buy One get One Free (BOGOF), buy three and pay for two and xx% discount when spending more than a predetermined amount can all cause you to spend more than you’d initially budgeted. Always ensure that you shop with a list, and only purchase the items you’d initially intended adding to your cart in the first place.
Once you’ve created your shopping list, ensure that you search online for any discounts or coupons that could help reduce the cost of your spending as well.
Although budgeting for the festive season can seem boring and overwhelming, you’ll be glad that you did so – especially when the New Year rolls around and you don’t have to spend the next few months paying off your Christmas debt.