Christmas shopping should be a pleasant and lively experience. Take a page from Santa’s Christmas book this Christmas, with our useful list of things to do, and we guarantee that you will not have easy seasonal expenses for your wallet and your sanity.
- Establish a budget
If your bank account is already channelling Scrooge, it’s time to take control and adopt the b-word! Budget! Creating a budget in Excel on your computer can reduce excessive spending and alleviate financial stress. Set a spending limit, monitor your purchases and your money.
If you are permanently connected to your smartphone, download a free financial application such as Mint.com that keeps you updated on the latest news. A visual reminder of your outgoing spending is a great way to reduce the expenditures of shopping and keep up with your budget.
- Do check online for discounted offers first!
Online shopping is not only convenient, fast and hassle-free. It’s also full of incredible offers. Starting on Black Friday, you can save money and get a free or discounted shipment. And for those with a limited amount of time can check out all-in-one webshop like UK Direct Shop.
- Do not ignore new ways to buy (and save!)
Canadian Shopping Group websites such as Groupon, Living Social and UK Direct Shop can save money on offers for purchases and unique experiences. It is not uncommon to find an article or activity on these websites for a fraction of their original cost. Join the Saving Stores Brigade and save lots of money on gifts, all without annoying or rude customers.
- Do not use credit cards at the mall.
For many Canadians, the shocking reality of bankruptcy becomes evident only when their mailboxes are overloaded with bills in January. Avoid the hangover of the New Year: use debit cards or cash to buy in person. If you really see that the money comes out of your wallet, you would prefer to govern and spend wisely.
- Create a list
If you make a list and double check it, you can be more organised, less stressed and spend less time between stores. Before spending a penny, write your shopping list on paper, on your computer or in a smartphone application. Add family, friends, acquaintances and others you want to remember during this holiday season. Add what you want to buy for each recipient, and you will be halfway to Kris Kringle’s supremacy.
- Do not doubt it.
This is not a myth: the variety and quality of the products in stores deteriorate as Christmas approaches. Do not stay with thin crops. Enter early in the game to enjoy sales and selections. Do you want to have another reason to start soon? Many Canadian stores start their festive business on Black Friday. The sooner you check this list, the better your wallet and mental health will be.