Finding the perfect gift for one person is hard enough, but your family and all of your friends? Christmas shopping is difficult for many reasons, but the one that rises highest in most people’s mind this time of year is the financial cost. Save money this year with these helpful tips!
1. Download coupon apps and browser add-ons like honey. It scours the internet for cheat codes, discounts, and coupons, then applies them at checkout, saving you tons of money.
2. Register in online stores. You’ll get great insider deals, some of which you can print out and use in a physical store.
3. Ask your cashier if any discounts are available to you. Most stores have military, police, and senior discounts.
4. Use cash, not credit. You’re far less likely to overspend if you can see your money disappearing.
5. In the store, do not touch the item until you have definitively decided to buy it. Studies have shown that holding an item increases a person’s desire to buy it, and therefore heightens their willingness to pay more for it. Look, don’t touch.
6. Decide how much you’re spending before you actually shop. Having a budget automatically helps you make better spending choices.
7. Make a list of what you want to buy. If you know what gifts to get, you’re less likely to impulse buy something expensive or unwanted.
8. Start shopping early. Thinking about Christmas and birthday gifts all year round ensures that you can choose the best time to buy and keep December as stress-free as possible.
9. If you have a group of friends, coworkers, or extended family that you don’t know how to buy for, arrange a Secret Santa or gift exchange with them. Everyone has a good time and goes home with a gift, but you only have to buy one.
10. If the gift is perfect but still expensive, check to see if the store has a layaway plan. This applies to online stores, too!
11. If your kids have their own money, don’t pay for gifts that are supposed to be from them. It’ll teach them to handle their own expenses and help you handle yours.
12. Ask your sibling or spouse or friend to pitch in on a present for someone you both know. Co-gifting is great, for the givers and the receiver.
13. Give a gift that includes more than one person. A couple’s spa appointment for your parents, concert tickets for your nephews. You won’t have to buy two (or more) presents, and many places offer discounts for package deals.
14. Make a Christmas savings account. Sell old clothes you don’t wear, or old gifts you’ve never liked or used, and put the money in your Christmas fund.
15. Don’t buy stuff for yourself. NRF stats have said that 20% of the typical person’s holiday budget goes to small treats for the buyer.