It’s officially that time of year! Holiday shopping is in full swing and we have some great tips and tricks for you to stay stress free while getting your lists checked off! Below are 10 ways you can prepare for and complete your holiday shopping.
1. Make a Holiday Budget
2. Do Your Research
When looking at which items you are going to purchase there is a lot to consider before you purchase it. Make sure to do your research ahead of time on each item and what features are available as well as where you can find the best price and reviews of that item. You can also look for coupons available and bring those in-store or add the promtotional code your order online. Need help finding coupons? Many businesses have their own page on their website with them, some may come in your email, through mail or can be found online at coupon websites such as Retail Me Not.
3. Get Creative
If you’re stuck on gift ideas another option is to get creative and make a gift! Homemade gifts are always very appreciated and aren’t costly. Great ideas can be found by simply looking them up on a search engine such as Google or a more specified website like Pinterest. Plus, you never know, you may just a pickup a new hobby or skill by making certain gifts!
4. Change Up the Gift Exchange
Another option for gift giving is to change how you and others are exchanging the gifts. Just talk with your friends and/or family about options that might work that could help lessen the number of gifts or the cost of such gifts such as setting a dollar limit on gifts, drawing names out of a hat or doing a white elephant gift exchange. All options are budget friendly and can help take the stress out holiday shopping.
5. Choose Your Form of Payment
When doing your holiday shopping you have many options to choose from when it comes to forms of payment. When using cash it is shown that it is mentally harder to give up rather than using a debit card, credit card or a check, making you think about what you're getting a little bit more and think if that item is really worth spending your hard earned money on. If you have a set budget try taking that amount with you in cash, that way it allows you to visualize how much of your budget you have left, how much you spent and forces you to not go over budget. If you don't like carrying cash you can of course bring checks, or use either a debit or credit card. You can also look into what kind of card controls you have with your debit or credit cards and set spending limits to help you stay on track with your budget.
6. Spend Time, Not Money
If you are a little extra tight on your holiday budget this year another option is to talk with your friends and family and see if you can simply have a holiday party, do some baking, have a potluck, or go out and do some winter activities instead of exchanging gifts. This option is great for everyone because instead of stressing over the time and cost of getting gifts you can simply spend time together doing something fun and making memories.
7. Make a Shopping List
Before you even head out to do your holiday shopping make sure you make a list items you plan on getting and stick to that list when you are out. You can also put down a price you plan on spending to each item as well a-s which shops you need to go to so you can make sure to stick to a planned budget as well as each person you plan on purchasing gifts for.
8. Free Gift Wrapping
While out and about make sure you keep an eye out for free gift wrapping! Many stores offer free wrapping with your purchase which could save you the time of having to wrap gifts at home as well as saving the money you would have to spend on wrapping paper, gift tags, bows and tape! This can also be a great idea if you have the recipient of the gift living with you so they can't peek at what you got them!
9. Avoid Big Crowds
Another great tip on holiday shopping is timing. If you want to avoid big crowds try doing your holiday shopping early or during off-times! Try shopping earlier in the morning, later at night, during week days or even go online to order your items.
10. Prepare for Next Year
Once all your holiday shopping is complete you can sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of the season! But, shortly after the first of year you should start thinking about how you are going to get through the next holiday season, and starting early can help ease the stress of it all. Start looking into some options such as when your credit union has their holiday loan specials, holiday skip-a-payment, or even check out different savings account options. Most credit unions have a separate Christmas Club account or separate savings account options that you can deposit money into throughout the year, that way when the holidays roll around again you already have that money saved up!
Whichever way you choose to do your holiday shopping, we wish you and yours the very best holiday season and a happy New Year! If there is any way we can help you get through the holidays please give us a call at (989) 892-6088, chat with us online, or stop into either of our branch locations!
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