One of the things that has really changed with COVID-19 is that many people are out of work. With the holidays coming up and the thought of shopping for friends and family being quite daunting with a limited budget, finding ways to save money is more important than ever.
The good news is that there are things that you can do to help you stay on track with your spending and save money at the same time. So let’s look at some of the budget friendly shopping tips that you can use to help you save money this holiday season.
Set Expectations – This means that you should be realistic about finances and what can will be affordable for you to spend. Remember that someone would most likely rather have a gift that you put a lot of thought into than something that you spent a lot of money on that they won’t ever use.
Set Limits – Most people hate hearing someone say budget when they’re shopping for the holidays. However, if you’re limited on your finances this year, like a lot of people are, this is something that needs to be done. For instance, think of what you can spend for each person. This usually will mean buying them one big gift or several smaller gifts. Ask the people for whom you are buying for some ideas.
Get organized – You know how Santa makes a list and then checks it a couple of times? That’s a good idea for you as well. Establish who you are buying for and how much you are able to spend for each of the people. Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean you should charge everything to credit cards that you won’t be able to pay off when it’s due the following month. Just like you’ll have to live in your budget the rest of the year, this also should be done around the holidays. The money that’s saved is what you should spend on the gifts.
Resist Urges – When the holidays come around, a lot of people go on spending sprees because we want people to be happy. But the holidays aren’t about the gifts. They are about spending time together. Now, that doesn’t mean that gifts aren’t exchanged, because we know that they are. However, the last thing that your friends and family want you to do is to go into debt for them, again, it goes back to finding the gift that you know they are going to love because you picked it out especially for them. For instance, I know of a group of friends who went on a trip to Wizarding World of Harry Potter the year it opened. The gift that was given that year? A mug with pictures on it from that trip. It was a huge hit!
Be Creative – If money really is an issue, you can always make your friends and family something handmade for a gift. Do you love crocheting and perhaps you aren’t working right now due to the pandemic? Why not make your friends and family scarves in their favorite colors? Do you love to bake? Some homemade chocolates or cookies are a great idea. Just keep in mind that you should be aware of any types of allergies that people have, or if they are gluten free or vegan.
Tally Up Costs – If you will be traveling during the holidays, this should be put into your budget when you are figuring out the prices. If you’re flying to visit someone and it’s going to cost a couple of thousand dollars, there’s a good chance they’re not going to expect expensive gifts. However, if they’re disappointed because you don’t come with lots of gifts in tow, then you may not want to do it next year.
Consider Secret Santa – This is a really great way that you can save money when you are gathering with a lot of family and friends. You might not want to purchase gifts for everybody who’s there, but you still want to do shopping. Rather than purchasing gifts for everybody, simply buy one gift for one person, with a budget that’s predetermined. There are plenty of websites online that will help you do random match-ups. This way people are going to know the person they’re shopping for and some of the apps allow people to create a wish list.
Exchange Stockings – One of the great things about doing a Christmas stocking exchange is that a lot of small, inexpensive items can fit in them. A group of people I know have been doing this for years, and they each spend just $20 to $30 total for what they buy. They save the stockings from year to year (the stockings were purchased at dollar stores) so that is a one-time expense they only have the first time that it’s done.
Do an Exchange After the Holidays – Some of the best sales can be gotten after the holidays. Stores are trying to encourage people to buy more and they are giving out great sales to keep the spending going. If you and your friends get together for New Year’s Eve, why not do your gift exchange then? Then the holiday rush is over but the stores are still having great deals that you can take advantage of.
Hit the Dollar & Thrift Stores – You’d be amazed at what you can find in dollar stores. One of the best places to go is Five Below, but they have started having items over $5 recently. Still, the prices are good and it’s easy to keep on budget. Thrift stores are another great find. If you know of someone who loves antiques or something that you may only find in a thrift store, why not?
These are just a few of the things that you can do to help you to keep from going broke during the holidays. Below are a few apps that you might find useful to help you with finding great deals.
- Wish – This app has some great deals, especially on jewelry. The only disadvantage with this is that the shipping often takes a while to get to you. So, if you use it, you’ll have to start your shopping early.
- Brad’s Deals – This is a great app that lets you know when there are deals online that you can take advantage of.
- Slick Deals – This is another app that tells you when there are deals that you can use to save money.
- Daily Sale – If you are searching for a place where you can get all great deals in one place with quick shipping, our website also has its own app. We have a lot of great deals every day and we’re always happy to answer your questions.
We hope that you have found this to be useful. We know that this is a difficult time for everyone, so we want to make it a lot easier. Check out our deals and see what catches your eyes. And, as always, feel free to ask us questions. We’re always glad to help.