Do you tend to overspend on the gifts that you purchase, which causes you to completely blow your budget?
People are notoriously known to max out their credit cards during the holidays, often resulting in increased debt that causes a lot of stress when they see the balance on their monthly statements.
I know that giving gifts brings you a lot of joy, especially seeing the look on the recipient’s face as he or she burst with excitement.
However, no matter how wonderful you feel, it’s still a good idea to plan your gift-giving to avoid overspending and going into debt, which could take you years to pay off.
Shopping for others can be stressful enough, so don’t add to it by blowing your budget.
Are you ready to discover ten tips that can help you save time, energy, money, and keep you organized?
If so, let us get started…
1)) Make A-List
Before you spend a penny, decide how much you can afford to spend this year and write it down on a Gift Planner. Decide who you want to buy for, and how much you want to spend on each person.
Keep this list handy when you shop, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar store to ensure that you don’t buy on impulse or exceed your spending limit.
Also, don’t forget to include wrapping paper, decorations, and shipping costs. These can add up fast!
2)) Pay Cash For Your Gifts
Psychologically, it’s much harder to spend cash than credit, so this tip alone could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year.
Also, avoid credit card offers or store charge card offers that offer you a discount if you sign up.
These cards usually have high interest rates and could end up costing much more in the long run than the discount you receive when you sign up for the card.
3)) Do Your Shopping Online This Year
Buying online could result in discounts not being available in stores. Just remember to include the shipping cost when buying online.
The good news is that a lot of online retailers offer free shipping.
Even if you don’t actually purchase online, the time you can save by doing comparison shopping before you go to the malls could be invaluable.
Another hidden benefit you may not have considered is all the money you could save in gas fees.
4)) Have A Secret Santa Gift Exchange
This is where you put names in a hat and each person draws one name to purchase for. If you have a large family, this could mean tremendous savings!
You should set a dollar limit, so each person knows how much to spend. That way no one overspends and relatives with smaller budgets won’t feel bad about not spending a fortune on a gift.
This approach works well for adults, but not so much with the littles ones.
While Christmas isn’t all about giving gifts, the kids should be given presents that make them happy and creates positive memories.
Here’s some food for thought, why not create a Secret Santa Gift Exchange for the kids.
5)) Group Gifts
Another alternative for those with large families is to do a group gift. This is where you have several relatives go in on one big gift instead of each person buying individual ones.
You will probably all save money and you can buy the recipient one big, cool gift that they really want.
You can think of this approach as Gift Sourcing, just to give it a cool name.
6)) Start Shopping Early
Shopping early allows you to comparison shop and to catch pre-holiday sales, which could mean huge savings.
This proactive approach also curbs impulse buying, which can be very expensive. Another benefit to shopping early is lower shipping costs if you need to mail a gift.
Waiting until the last minute can be expensive because you’re more likely to pay full price for the gift, and you may have to pay extra to ship it if you want to guarantee it arrives on time.
I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard the old saying that goes, “The Early Bird Gets The Worm” a thousand times.
Shopping ahead of time drastically reduces your stress levels, just knowing you’ve taken care of your gift list.
7)) Make Your Holiday Gifts
If you have creative talents, such as cooking, crafting, etc., making your own gifts can be very special, not to mention fun.
For instance, people love gift baskets filled with their favorite items.
If you’re not the creative type, then consider giving your time.
Offers to babysit or to do something special for someone can be very personal and appreciated gifts.
How many parents do you know who wouldn’t love to have free babysitting so that they could spend some quality time together?
8)) Purchase Stationary After The Holidays
To get the most bang for your buck, purchase wrapping paper, holiday cards, and other decorations right after the holidays.
Because seasonal items are usually offered at deep discounts after the holiday, and they never go out of style. Stock up on clearance-priced items for next year, this year!
Pro Tip: To find even bigger discounts, you should check out your local dollar stores.
9)) Establish A Gift Fund In January
One of the smartest moves you can make is to start a Christmas fund in January for next year’s shopping. Many credit unions and banks offer special accounts just for this purpose.
A CD is another great way to save for next year’s holiday expenses. It never hurts to sock away a little money every month between now and the next holiday season.
You’ll earn a little interest, and you’ll have the cash to spend on your gifts and other expenses when the holidays roll around.
10)) Use A Gift Planner
Gift shopping for multiple people can be stressful, which takes the fun out of the process.
There's no reason why doing something nice for the people you care about should cause pain, and the best way to remove the stress is by using a gift planner.
A gift planner allows you to stay organized, not miss anyone on your list, and keep you on budget.
Throughout this article, you’ve been learning about the 10 Gift Planning Tips To Prevent Overspending.
You and I both know that gift shopping is filled with joy and pain.
Not planning causes you to overspend, increases your credit card debt, and creates unnecessary stress.
Taking a more proactive approach and using some type of gift tracker can make all the difference in the world.
There’s absolutely no reason to go broke buying gifts, and by managing the process you can get the best of both worlds.
You get the pleasure of seeing the recipient’s reaction to the gift and save money, all with less stress.
Do yourself a big favor by implementing the tips you learned today.