Plan Holiday Shopping on a Budget

christmas shoppingThe Christmas countdown has officially begun and with it comes the need to start making your holiday shopping list. Taking a little time to plan and organize your holiday shopping activity can go a long way toward helping you stay on budget without losing out on the festive cheer of the season. Here are some tips that will help you be prepared before you hit the stores for your Christmas shopping.

Plan and organize

Start by making a list of all the people you want to shop for and the maximum you can spend on each person. Don’t forget to include all the people in your life including service people like your doorman, hairdresser or trainer along with your list of extended family and friends. Having a detailed list with you at all times will help you remember what you need in case you spot a great deal and will help you avoid expensive impulse buys.

Be the early bird

Avoid stressful last minute shopping by spreading your shopping activity throughout the holiday season. The earlier you have a plan in place, the better equipped you’ll be to take advantage of seasonal discounts and special offers. Unplanned last minute shopping can lead to additional purchases you don’t really need.

If you weren’t able to make the early bird list, many stores offer deeply discounted items just a couple days before Christmas. You may not have a great variety to choose from, but you can take advantage of last minute sales to keep your holiday spending under control.

Follow stores online

Follow your favorite retailers and brands online and actively post reviews and comments on their web sites, including Facebook and Twitter. This will help keep you informed of any exclusive online offers and there’s also a possibility that you’ll be offered additional discounts for being a loyal fan. Sign up for email alerts so you’ll receive regular updates from your favorite retailers on special offers and discounts.

Compare prices online

Even if you don’t plan to do your entire holiday shopping online, you can still browse online retail sites to compare prices on the gifts you plan to buy. This can also help you save time and fuel as you’ll already know which store you want to buy it from instead of going from store to store to find the best deal.

Check your checklist

When you’re ready to go shopping, make sure you always have your checklist with you. This checklist can start with the names of the people you need to buy for and the amount you plan to spend on each of them; update the list as you finalize gift ideas for particular people to avoid any duplication.

Buy gift cards

Gift cards make great holiday gifts because the recipient can buy whatever they want, but they also help you stay within your budget. Gift cards save you of a lot of guesswork, but they can also allow you to contribute to a gift someone really wants that might not be within your budget.


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