Who doesn’t like Christmas, right? It is the happiest time of the year for both the young and the old. You have more free time from work or school to spend at home with your family or even travel somewhere far, not to mention all the holiday cheer. Perhaps the highlight of the season aside from the unwavering Christmas spirit is the unending sharing of gifts. Kids receive the most gifts during this time of the year especially if they have been nice all-year round. Now, exactly how much do you need to spend on pampering the young ones with toys and Christmas presents? At this age, many of them do not understand the value of money yet and if you keep on spoiling them by buying lavish gifts, it may only set as a precedent for even more costly presents as the child grows up.
Sometimes, it takes a little creativity in coming up with the perfect presents. It does not necessarily have to cost a lot but something the child appreciates. It can also be something functional that a child can use in their day-to-day. Now, adults get presents too not only kids. Like with kids, know how much you are willing to pay for presents lest you go overboard and your wallet suffers. Most of the time adults give and receive gifts from parties that require them to exchange gifts with one another or give gifts to people close to them. I’m sure you are quite curious as to how you can save money too.
The most important thing to remember, Schulz said, is to use a shopping list when you buy. Some of the big box retailers, for example Target, use retail techniques from higher-end stores to make items seem more like specialty items. And just because a company says you’re getting a good deal in a promotional email or advertisement doesn’t even mean the item is actually marked down at all.
Having a shopping list will also protect you from a number of retail’s favorite tricks: from slow-tempo music (which tends to prompt shoppers who make unplanned purchases to spend about $33 more than when they buy in silence) to confusing store layouts that force you to walk down aisle after aisle of tempting presents.
Saving a buck or two from your purchases can go a long way especially if you have a long list of people to buy presents for. It is the reason why you should not underestimate the impact of any discounts you can get on the things you buy because they do add up over time. Imagine buying Christmas presents for the entire family and then there’s your relatives (nieces, nephews, etc.), friends, colleagues, and to all the parties you and your family will attend too. You might be surprised at how much you can save when you tally your purchases after the holidays are over when you buy things gradually over time, thus able to take advantage of amazing sales rather than buy impromptu and pay for the regular price of the items. Then, there are different ways for you to save money all-year round, so you have more money that you can set aside for far more important things.
3) Curb your impulses: “We see a lot of well-intentioned but impulsive holiday spending,” said Prahl. He gave an example of good intentions turning into a budget buster: “Why buy one volume of an eight-book set when for only $200 you could buy the whole set? And just think about how much he would love it.”
4) Step away: “We’re bombarded daily with advertisements and consumption-driven messages that say ‘you buy this and you’re going to be happy.’ It’s tough to tune it out if you’re watching a Christmas movie or are on social media,” said Paape. “If you find yourself spending mindlessly, go volunteer at your church or help at a homeless shelter or do whatever is meaningful for you. It changes you. It helps you be grateful for what you have. It helps change your overall thinking, your mindset. It helps you step away from spending and impulsiveness.”
These things are easier said than done knowing that we live in a highly capitalist world. There are far more luxuries that we spend on rather than necessities that we really need in life. But if you pause for a moment and look at your own lifestyle, you’ll be able to reflect on your expenses and determine what aspects of your life you can save money from and what indulgence you can shy away from. When you do that, you’ll be able to save up some money that will definitely come in handy once the holiday comes and there are absolutely endless shopping trips you need to make until the early days of the New Year when the holiday cheer still lives on.