As joyful and magical as this time of year can be, it can also be overwhelming and stressful. All of a sudden it’s the middle of December, and you may feel like you still have tons on your “holiday plate.”
One of the biggest stresses during the holidays: the dreaded holiday shopping. Who to buy for? What do you get them? How much do you spend? You want to gift them something great that they will love, but you also need to keep your budget and wallet happy too.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry! First of all, you most definitely aren’t alone and secondly, we’re here to help. Today, we are sharing six holiday shopping tips on how to stay organized and, most importantly, stay on budget.
1. Make a list (and check it twice).
The best way to get organized is by starting with a list. Is there always one person you forget to buy for? A neighbor who always leaves a sweet gift, and you feel terrible for always forgetting to reciprocate? Or maybe that one distant relative who always has something for your kids at the family Christmas party? Every year you tell yourself you’ll remember to gift them a little something in return the next year.
Well now’s the perfect time to brainstorm so you don’t forget and have to scramble for that last minute gift. You’re more likely to spend more on a last minute gift than one you’ve had the chance to think about. Once you see exactly who you need to buy for, it’s easier to decide on a budget and start hatching up gift ideas.
2. Stick to a budget.
Talk to your partner or spouse before hand and go over a total “gift budget” that best works for your family. This helps not being as blindsided by all those credit card bills that start rolling in in January (and you know we’ve all been there).
After you set a total budget, you can start budgeting how much you want to spend on each recipient. You obviously won’t be spending the same on your mother or children as you would on say, their teachers or your mailman. Start with the bigger gifts first, then see how you can split the rest for the smaller gifts.
3. Check your spam folder.
This is probably the only time of year where scrolling through the countless ads and emails in your “promotions” tab may be useful. You’re probably already receiving emails from your favorite stores, and this time of year they doing the work for you by letting you know of all the sales they have going on and coupons they are offering. Some even offer bigger discounts to customers already on their email lists.
4. Ask for a “wishlist.”
There’s always that one person you can never decide on a gift for, whether they are that person who already has it all, or are just plain picky, every year you are completely stumped on what to buy. Well, before you go and buy another gift card, most online stores offer customers the ability to make their own wishlist where they can add and save their dream items to a list.
This is like the holiday version of a registry, and it can be awesome. Sites like Amazon make it easy to search for someone’s wishlist. If you aren’t sure if someone has one, just ask! This helps cut down on the guess work while still being able to surprise that special someone with something they genuinely want.
5. Split gifts
Is there a big gift that someone wants but it’s definitely out of your gift giving budget? Go in together with another friend or family member. It feels better to spend your money on something someone really wants or needs, rather than a bunch of “fluff gifts” you got just for the sake of buying something. And they’ll appreciate it more, too!
6. Don’t feel guilty with the amount spent on a gift.
We all struggle with that feeling of “I wish I could spend more on them” or “This isn’t enough, they spent more on me.” There’s a reason for the saying “it’s the thought that counts.” Especially this time of year, it’s easy to get away from the real reason we are buying gifts for each other.
We really just want to put a smile on our loved ones faces and make someone feel special and thought of. A hand written heart felt card and favorite bottle of wine, cozy smelling candle, or small handmade gift is just as thoughtful and meaningful – and you won’t have that buyer’s remorse come January.
Did this list help ease your gift giving stress? Do you have any tips you like to use to help finding the perfect gift while sticking to a budget during the holiday’s? We’d love to hear them, just comment below!