During the holidays is when the most generous side of people comes out. You almost can’t help walking into a shop, spying something that would be a perfect gift for someone you know, and then purchasing it for them right on the spot. You get giddy thinking about the look on their face when they open your thoughtful present. However, if money is tight, the idea of getting store-bought gifts for people can be more of a nightmare. But not to worry, there are a few tricks to saving money on gifts and other seasonal purchases. Here are three tips that will help you to not go overboard on your purchases this holiday season.
Create a Realistic Budget
Creating a budget is arguably the best thing you can do to keep your spending on track around the holiday season. However, the problem most people have is knowing how much is a reasonable amount of money to budget for this time of year.
According to Lia Sestric, a contributor to CBSNews.com, the Better Business Bureau has a holiday budget calculator people can use to see how much money they should be saving and spending during the holidays based on their annual income. For example, someone making $50,000 a year should save 1.5 percent for all holiday-related purchases, including gifts, decorations, travel and more.
Shop the Sales
Because so many people make a lot of large purchases around the holidays, almost all stores offer significant sales on days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday as well as in the weeks leading up to Christmas. But while these sales and discounts can be tempting, many people just aren’t willing to brave the streets of their town in the chance of getting trampled by throngs of other thrifty shoppers.
To help make your Black Friday shopping easier, Jacqueline Curtis, a contributor to MoneyCrashers.com shares 20 shopping tips to help you get the best deals while maintaining your sanity. If you’re able to follow these tips, you should be able to score big during the large holiday sales without ending up in the hospital with dehydration, exhaustion or any broken bones.
Use Coupons Copiously
Another great way to save even more money over the holidays is to turn up your coupon game. Not only can couponing for your normal items save you money, but finding manufacturer coupons online for gifts will also help your budgeted money go even further. But keep in mind one of the cardinal rules from the Krazy Coupon Lady, as told to Today.com: purchasing a product with a coupon when it’s on sale will get you the maximum bang for your buck. By doing this, you’ll become an even smarter holiday shopper.
Holiday shopping doesn’t have to break your bank. Use the tips mentioned above to help you save your family money and stress over this holiday season.