Related Posts with Thumbnails

Holiday shopping strategy

Is it that time already? OMG time to hit the mall! Here are some Tightwad tips to help you better manage their holiday shopping spree: 
Set a budget Decide precisely who you are shopping for, with an pre-assigned value to the gift. Don't forget to budget for cards, wrapping paper, baking supplies, decorations, charitable donations, postage... whatever else you need to have on hand for the holiday.  
Get a reality check Review credit card statements, ATM withdrawals and bank deets from last year to give you an idea if this year's projected numbers are realistic. Unless you're making substantial changes in the number of people you're buying for or what you are buying them, count on spending last year's budget plus about 5%. 
Cut back ahead of time You are probably paying for things that you aren't using, such as health club memberships (come on, really?), magazine subscriptions and primo cable channels. Have a tag sale, dust off your library card, make your own popcorn and other little ways to cut back will give you a little financial breathing room. 
Avoid layaway fees Buy an item when you have saved enough.
Start early Shopping early provides several advantages. You can comparison shop and watch for save big on sales, you’re less prone to impulse shopping and waiting until the last day often means you can’t be as selective and you’re more likely to pay full price or simply grab something expensive out of desperation - and pay top dollar for postage. The sweet spot of the holiday shopping season? You guessed it: the weekdays after Black Friday. 
Be creative Consider homemade gifts, offers to babysit or do something special for someone can be an inexpensive yet personal gift. Consider new traditions. If you buy for everyone in your family, revise the rules. Perhaps buy for children only or draw names for gift-giving. Suggesting this change early gives everyone time to adjust to the new plans. 
Shop first, spend later Do a little research first to make sure that what you've planned on spending for someone is in line with what things actually cost. You can also use it as an opportunity to ask about future sale dates.
Stay home Internet shopping saves on gas and possibly state sales tax. But if you wait until the last minute, you'll have to pay for rush shipping. Starting now gives you time for packages to arrive via the cheapest shipping method. 
Use cash Charging your holiday spending on a credit card - unless you're doing it for points or miles and expect to pay the bills right away - is setting yourself up for a very expensive start to the New Year. Spend only money that you actually have. In addition, avoid "buy now, pay later" offers on high ticket items, which typically come with high interest. 
Keep a paper trail Make a point of requesting gift receipts, keep all of your own and take note of return policies. 
It's never too early to think about next year Some banks have a forced savings program - you put money in all year, and typically near the end of October, the account is closed and you receive a cheque. Alternatively, open a savings account, sock a set amount of money into it through the year and limit yourself to using those funds for holiday season. 


Post a Comment