It's crazy to think that it's already November. We haven't even had Thanksgiving, yet EVERYTHING in-store displays are all for the holidays. I can barely think about the holiday season nearing, as I have so many other things to get done before then, but I thought I would share some steps I take to make holiday giving affordable.
1. Make a list- I like to plan who I want to give a personal gift to and make sure I don't forget any of the people for the smaller gifts (even if it's a $10 swap at work). I write everyone's names with a gift idea.
2. Budget- I know this may sound odd, but I tend to go a little crazy gift-giving during the holiday season. I like to add the maximum I want/can spend for each gift.
3. Research- This may seem a bit over-the-top, but I do like to do a quick Google search. When you Google search an item, a tab at the top displays labeled "Shopping". You can click that and it will show most resellers prices including all the larger retailers. Once you have an idea of how much it cost, then you can keep out for those deals!
If you are into getting up at the crack of dawn after Thanksgiving or want to get your steps in after your Thanksgiving feast, I would encourage you to go out with your list and grab those deals! If you are more like me and enjoy relaxing after your big meal, online sales may be best for you.
I personally like to take advantage of deals on Cyber Monday. I would advise doing a quick check on the shopping Google search tool to double-check you are getting the best deal. Don't forget as well to take advantage of any additional savings you could capture with your credit cards! A few credit cards out there have certain promotions on select retailers. For example, I can snag tons of great makeup from Ulta and shop through the Chase portal to grab an additional 5% cashback.
I have noticed that Cyber Monday last year was not as great as I thought it would be. This means you may have to be prepared to do some online shopping before/after/during Thanksgiving. I personally don't mind it, but I would keep in mind that some sales may happen even before Thanksgiving.
Hopefully, these tips make your holiday shopping more manageable. Keep in mind, never overextend yourself to gift-give. Don't be afraid to do more DIY gifts like a homemade sugar scrub or even some holiday treats you like to make. A gift I look forward to most is the goodie basket that our neighbors give to our family. The homemade Chex mix is out of this world! That being said, remember that the holidays are about giving beyond the gifts; open the door for a stranger, smile to a person in passing, donate to your local shelter or even volunteer for a local charity you are passionate about. Whatever makes you feel fulfilled and happy, do it! Hopefully, you find these tips helpful and have a great holiday season!
Amanda Cronin, VPA