The holidays are quickly approaching! Will you buy gifts for all your friends and their mamas or will you follow these 10 simple rules?
1. Know your number and stick to it. If your budget allocates $300 for gifts…spend only that amount. Ideally, start accumulating your holiday money in January – $25 per month = $300 in December.
2. Make a list and check it twice. Put everyone on the first list, then ask yourself, “Do I really need to buy all these people a gift?” If so, keep your budget in mind…more people equals less dollars per person.
3. Do the math. $300 divided by 20 people = $15 per person; $300 divided by 10 people = $30 per person…and so on. More people…less dollars per gift.
4. Focus on the business at hand. Once you hit the stores, stay focused. Stick to your list. Keep at bay the proclivity to consume a few items for yourself.
5. Think meaning rather than dollars. Is there a special something that you know your gift recipient would love? Perhaps a special ornament? A book by a particular author? A CD by a favorite artist? Be creative. Perhaps a festive dessert party for family and friends is in order to kick off the holiday season. Add on a special trinket that acknowledges their attendance.
6. Just because you have the dollar doesn’t mean you have to spend it. Check your attitude along with your budget. Do you buy gifts to prove a point? Do you think your gift has to be bigger/better/brighter than everyone else? Or do you give a special gift from the heart?
7. Credit cards are rarely the answer. If you do not have the cash flow/income to pay off the January credit card bill, don’t charge holiday gifts. Starting off January laden with debt often sets the stage for the rest of the year.
8. Short on time/energy/patience? Shop online. The shipping fee often is less expensive than driving all over in search of the perfect gift. It is easier to compare prices of an item on line. Use technology to your benefit. Many websites will alert you when the item goes on sale or is restocked.
9. Use sales and coupons to your advantage. The perfect item is even better when it’s on sale or you have a coupon. But beware sale tactics that lure you into spending extra to get the discount. Avoid the ploy by retailers to suck you in to the “but it was on sale’ excuse. Instead, be sober and vigilant when planning and executing your holiday shopping plan.
10. Don’t spend based on your mood. Know the commercial – the “I’m feeling richer effect?” Some days we just feel better than others. The “I feel good” mood just might get you in trouble. If the festive mood hits, use it to find special specialties from your list. Use your good mood to find creative gifts and ways to celebrate on a shoestring.
Remember to celebrate the reason for the season! Share the fun and cheer with family and friends! Be thankful. Bless others. And most of all let your love flow.
Question: Do you have a holiday shopping plan? Or do you just “wing-it”? Does your gift buying put you in the red? Share you comment by clicking here.