Master Holiday Gift Buying On A Budget With These 6 Tips

‘Tis the season for spreading holiday joy and merriment! Thanksgiving has come and gone and in just a few weeks we’ll once again be surrounded by friends and family soaking in all that holiday cheer. Don’t let the joy of giving lead to restless nights and a busted budget. You can master holiday gift buying on a budget with these 6 tips:

Have Yourself A Merry Little Strategy

Being well prepared and having a comprehensive plan can come in handy. Consider these tactics in developing your budget-friendly gift buying strategy:

  • Make a list and check it twice – you’re not required to purchase a gift for every acquaintance and colleague. These gifts are often not expected and rarely reciprocated. Focus on your core group of family and friends.
  • Draw up a realistic budget for each member on your list as well as expenses like gift wrapping and cards. Be sure to ask at checkout whether each retailer provides gift boxes, bags or even complimentary gift wrapping services.
  • Open a separate savings or checking account dedicated to holiday purchases. It may be too late to sufficiently pad your account for this years’ purchases, but you’ll have an early jump on next year.
  • Make small cuts in your everyday spending now. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by tightening the belt on your day-to-day expenditures. (Try making coffee at home rather than stopping at your local joint every morning.)

Silver Gigs

Not many of us have the time to add another job in to our daily routine. Fortunately there are options for those that have very limited time to earn some extra cash. In the Gig Economy, organizations will contract with individuals for short-term engagements at an agreed upon compensation level.  This method of earning additional revenue has exploded over the past few years and there are many temporary positions available to those willing to sacrifice some of their free time. For those that truly don’t have any time to spare, try selling unwanted belongings online through Craigslist or EBay or to a local thrift store.

Don’t Get Run Over By Credit Card Debt

Now that you have your list built and a budget established, it’s time to withdraw cash from your holiday account to make purchases. Using cash in lieu of credit when possible is a great way to keep your spending on track. Endlessly swiping credit cards during the holiday season further complicates the issue of managing finances.

DIY Bells

When brainstorming gift ideas for those special people on your list, it’s helpful to remember that it truly is the thought that counts. Sentiment means more than price tags, and it’s easy to convey strong sentiment while keeping yourself under budget. Consider leveraging your artistic or culinary talent to create meaningful gifts. The holidays are also a great opportunity to make use of all of those pictures you’ve taken this year. Combine into a frame, collage or low-cost photo book to be enjoyed by loved ones for years to come.

Begin To Look A Lot At Comparisons

A great way to make your budget stretch further this year is to do your due diligence. Nearly everyone has an endless supply of information available to them sitting right in their pocket. Make sure to set aside ample time for shopping this year and be quick to reach for your smart phone or tablet to compare prices. It also pays to understand store policies. Many large retailers offer price-matching programs that can save you considerable time and money when comparison shopping.

It’s Cold Outside – So Shop Online

Okay, we don’t suggest that you shop online only because it’s cold outside, but rather because it can curb additional and unnecessary spending. By foregoing a trip with friends to the mall for holiday shopping, you’ll also be foregoing the lunch, drinks and the litany of impulse purchases that often occur during these outings. You also have the ability to search for store discounts, coupon and promo codes before purchasing items in your online shopping cart.

Become a master of holiday gift buying with these 6 tips this season. You’re sure to delight friends and family with your thoughtful and creative gifts while keeping yourself within budget!