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Make Holiday Shopping More Affordable

12/04/2018 14:12

When it is time to do the holiday shopping, many people make plans that are out of their budget. It is common to accumulate a large amount of debt during the holiday season.

This debt often follows people far into the following year. This is a vicious cycle that can be stopped if you change the way you shop. Saving money is not just about shopping the sales. It is about not buying things that are not necessary a lot of the time.

You can still enjoy special holiday treats without spending excessively.



Avoid Trending Items


Retailers know that everyone is going to be looking for the perfect gift. Manufacturers often wait until the holiday season to release the new version of things like phones and gaming consoles. Even toy companies seem to come up with a doll or game that everyone feels they must have. When you are buying a gift, think about different things that your kids have asked for throughout the year. They probably have a wish list that does not include the most recent items displayed in stores.


If you have a friend or family member that is truly excited about a trending item, try to wait until after the holiday season to purchase it. You can give them a gift card to use on the item or make a shopping and lunch date for after the beginning of the new year. When there is no way to avoid the purchase, do your research. Many retailers offer gift cards with the purchase of these items. These may be available with generous amounts that you can use to purchase other gifts with.


Shop Clearance


This tactic can take a little time and patience. It can be a lot of fun, however, as it is a bit like treasure hunting. This is often a great way to increase the number of gifts for children. Once you have purchased a main item off of the kid’s list, venture around the store and look at the clearance isles. Most stores have one in each section. Look in each section because you never know what you may find. You may find a few toys 50- 75 percent off simply because the store had to make room for the holiday merchandise.


A basket of odd kitchen gadgets might be great for a family member that loves to cook. The clearance isle might have some mismatched dishes or towels for your friend that collects unique bowls or accessories. Get creative by combining various things into one gift. Take a few moments to search each store that you go to. You may find coffee mugs on clearance at one store and cute coasters at another. Throw in a bag of coffee and you have the perfect gift. You can also find clothes, household items, and bath products.


Set Limits


When you are trying to stay out of debt, you may have to set some limits. If your family is used to a big holiday gift exchange, this may be a bit difficult. Look over your budget before you ever head to the store. Come up with an amount that you can spend on each person without causing harm to your financial status. You are sure to enjoy the holidays more when you are not worried sick about the bills. Find things to do with your family to distract them from this major change. Bring back the traditional holiday activities such as baking cookies together, renting movies, and making gifts for each other.


The holiday season does not have to be all about spending money. There are many ways to cut back on the amount you spend on gifts. The biggest challenge, however, is often facing the reality of your financial limitations. There is not law saying you must run up the balance on all your credit cards just to make people happy. Start a silly tradition to see who can find the best or silliest gift on a clearance rack. Give everyone a monetary limit and challenge yourselves to find something special with this smaller amount. Forget about trending items and bring the fun back into shopping for the holidays.

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