It will be December soon and one month before the year ends, it is best to look at some last-minute holiday shopping tips to get you to finish your gift-giving ideas. The challenging part of doing this too close to Christmas is that it can start to get really expensive really quick. The closer the holiday is, the higher the costs turn out at the end.
One of the reasons for this is simple economics on supply and demand. The holidays usually show a surge in consumer spending and as retailers and sellers put out their products, they normally add a premium during the holidays. It is that or some companies choose to stick to their original price points banking on the fact that people will buy more. Bottom line is that the holidays are normally one time of the year where consumers spend more than they normally would in a month.
Last-minute holiday shopping tips become a necessity if you want to save money and not land in debt before the year ends. It also gives you a great start to the new year with your finances intact. Rather than trying to pay back debt at the start of the year, you get to focus on reaching your financial goals and building a better you. This is better because Business Insider mentioned that overall household debt went up to $13.5 trillion at the end of 2018.
Create and finalize your shopping list
One of the best last-minute holiday shopping tips you can look into is making sure your shopping list is finalized. You cannot go out and just start buying gifts from memory because you could easily buy more than what you need and immediately go over-budget. There is a good chance that you come home with a lot more shopping bags you can carry.
You end up with a huge credit card debt at the end of the month as you end the year in the red. This is why you need to have a list of people you want to give gifts to over the holidays before you start shopping. It can assure you that you do not forget to buy a gift for someone special but it also gives you a guide for how much you can spend per person.
You can also put in your list what each person wants to receive to help you buy something they really want. This makes the gift a little more personal and helps you stick to your budget also. This is one of the last-minute holiday shopping tips you might overlook not knowing that it can help give you direction and keep you away from unnecessary purchases.
As you look for other tips to help your last-minute shopping, there are a few more you need to consider. The idea is to help you get through your shopping needs for the holidays without having to spend a fortune because you are doing it too close to Christmas. Here are a few more tips you can look into which you can use to get finish your holiday shopping.
Compare shop prices
One of the best last-minute holiday shopping tips is to make sure that if you already know what you want to buy, make sure to canvass prices from other stores. You do not have to go out of your way and drive to multiple areas. What you can do is research them all from the comfort of your home. Look for the stores that carry the item you need and call them up to ask about the price. This echoes what Fierce Retail shares that 80% of people compare prices online before buying in a physical store.
It might be too much work if you do this for all the items on your holiday list. One thing you can do is use this for the big-ticket items to help you save a lot of money. Once you identify the stores that carry the item at the lowest price, plan your trip a lot more efficiently. The last thing you need is to save on the purchase but lose money on gas, parking, and other expenses you can control.
You can plan your day where you can take the bus or park at the centermost location and walk around to get everything you need. This helps you save money and time so you can finish your shopping early. It also helps limit the chances of wandering into stores and coming out with unplanned purchases adding to your holiday debt.
Compare online prices
One last-minute holiday shopping tips that is applicable in this day and age are to make the most out of technology. Yes, it is better to see and feel and inspect items before you buy them but online shopping has seen its fair share of credibility over the past few years. There are reviews to help you vouch for the credibility of the seller and even some of your favorite brands have started to sell their products online.
The same with how you might compare prices with a physical store, you can compare from a lot more sellers online without having to change from your pajamas. The good thing about online shopping as well is that there are usually certain criteria where you might qualify for free shipping. The most common is reaching a certain spending amount.
You need to be careful when it comes to free shipping because you might be enticed to buy more just to qualify. It could end up becoming more costly as you tried to add items you did not really need in the cart and check them out. Be on guard because the very same convenience that online shopping offers might also make you lower your guard and you begin to shop for more.
Look for discounts in bulk buying
There are instances where sellers would agree to give you a discount if you buy more than one of the same items. This is one of the last-minute holiday shopping tips that you need to keep in mind when you plan to buy a lot of similar items. There are sellers who are willing to give you a discount because they get to move a lot of items at one given time.
This is the same idea when you are trying to save on your food costs and you buy in bulk ingredients you will be using a lot of at home. When you apply this to holiday gifts, the downside is that a lot of people could start to get the same gift. Just make sure that you do try and manage who gets what so you do not end up giving the same gift every year.
Can you make your gift?
Last-minute holiday shopping tips can be averted if you can make your own gift. This means looking for a hobby you love doing and looking for a way to create a gift with it. Are you a creative person that loves to create? It can be drawing, painting, photography, or even baking delicious cakes and cookies. You can use this skill to help you save a lot of money during the holidays.
Rather than buying all the gifts you need for the holidays, you can make them and give them out to people in your life. You can bake cookies for the holidays, create a customized painting for your friends, or even offer to conduct a family shoot for families that they can use for the holidays. The idea is to work around your hobby and create something more personal.
There are a lot of last-minute holiday shopping tips you can look into to help you save money but remember that the holidays should never be all about gifts. Take the time to reconnect and rebuild relationships with the people that matter to you.