Before we know it, the holiday shopping season will be upon us — if you haven’t started already. If you’re like us, you pledge every year that you aren’t going to go overboard — and then somehow end up doing just that. If you really want to reign things in this year, here are 8 tips to help you out.
1. Make Your Own List & Check it Twice
If your gift list includes more than 5 people outside of your family, it might be a good idea to re-examine your priorities. For those you remove from your list but would still like to recognize, make a homemade treat, or one of these genius ideas from The Dating Divas. instead.
2. Limit Your Budget
Instead of charging everything, try to limit your spending to what can come out of your bank account. If that means saving up specifically for your Christmas shopping throughout the year, or pacing yourself to shop over a period of several months, do it.
3. Take Advantage of Coupons and Deals
Nobody loves junk mail, but when you have holiday shopping on your to-do list, it pays to keep an eye on the ads you receive every week for specials and coupons. Also take advantage of online sales. And before you complete a purchase, google for coupon and promo codes for the site you’re shopping on.
4. Become More Thrifty
Being thrifty not only on holiday gifts, but on everything else all year, can help you successfully give great gifts without overspending. If you can skip those coffee runs or buy store brands instead of big names, you can save plenty to go toward not only gift giving, but your savings account as well.
5. Give of Yourself
If you’re short on cash, try being big on other types of generosity. Spend big time with those you love, and offer small, inexpensive gifts instead. Try phone cards so you can spend more time talking. Take a friend to lunch and catch up instead of sending a gift. Send a heartfelt card. People will know you really care, and you’ll save some money in the process.
6. Serve Instead of Party
Everyone loves a holiday party. Perhaps you love to host them yourself. But instead of spending the money to put on a shindig, why not invite your friends or family to help you serve others? Try contacting local service or religious groups to see how you and your friends might help. It could be as simple as visiting a retirement center. There are no shortage of ways to help others, especially during this time of year.