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Shopping Smart at Christmas: Tips to Complete Your Festive Gift Giving Under Budget and On Time

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photo of woman holding white and black paper bags

The festive season is fast approaching, and no doubt, wherever you are in the world, the promotions and marketing that go with the Christmas season are already well and truly underway.

The reason why the promotional efforts for this time of year appear to start earlier and earlier is because they do. This is because businesses in every niche or field use the period as an ideal way to boost sales.

Christmas is a huge time of year from a marketing perspective, and it’s geared to make your part with your hard-earned money, and you will, no doubt, dutifully oblige. However, this year, why not look to shop wiser?

Far too often, we can find ourselves backed into a metaphorical corner, either by bad planning or poor budgeting, and often end up getting the wrong thing entirely. In 2022 you can change your approach and truly win the Christmas season!

Shop Smart Online

We do most of our shopping online now, and with good reason. We can now access pretty much everything we want, and the unlimited nature of the online shopping environment can prove very daunting. 

With that in mind, it’s very useful to do the relevant research on the specific locations you intend to shop, and you can do that yourself or make use of good comparison services, such as those offered by sites like top10, which can help you make your experience as simple, and pain-free, as possible.

Doing this research can help in many ways. Firstly it can aid you in your mission to avoid sites that aren’t entirely legit or just offer poor products and services. Secondly, you can find products at better prices and finally also make sure that the place you shop offers excellent supporting services, such as delivery and customer support.

Plan Better

We all know Christmas is coming as it’s been taking place on the same day every year for hundreds of years. However, far too many of us allow the important date to creep up on us and leave us struggling to fulfill our needs at the last minute.

This year, why not work on getting things to run more smoothly? Set a reminder on your phone or desktop, let the alarm for this ring loudly at least a month before the critical date, and then start your planning.

Set out a list of those you need to buy presents for and, this may sound harsh, place it in order of priority. Clearly, don’t let anyone else see this list; otherwise, not only will your recipient know just how important they are, but they’ll also see what Santa is about to get for them.

Once you know what you want to buy, start the work of sourcing where you’ll get the gift from, and don’t be afraid to open a spreadsheet for this purpose. If you approach the whole process as if it’s a military campaign, or just a job, then you may well find that organizing your efforts may be less of a chore and more of an exercise in saving money and not disappointing your loved ones at the most important time of the year.

Budget Wisely

We all spend too much at Christmas, it’s just something we do, but there is a world of difference between going a little over budget and spending way beyond your means. 

If you find yourself worrying excessively over the holidays or are just always on edge and anxious because of the costs associated with Xmas, then you need to take a step back and reassess the situation.

You should not spend more than you can happily afford to; doing so will only end up in hardship, be that financial or emotional. If this means telling your children that they can’t have everything they want, then so be it. If you have that conversation in an honest manner, you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel.

Set a ceiling on your overall spending, work your socks off, or should that be stockings, and look for bargains. This is why planning ahead can help open new doors for you. 

The number of people who find themselves panic buying at the last minute, and therefore spending over the odds for goods, is frankly mind blowing and entirely avoidable. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

If you are shopping for the entire family, then there will be occasions when you have to say no, either to yourself or to others. Don’t be afraid to do so. It’s an essential lesson for anyone to learn, whatever their age and the results of not doing so can be pretty catastrophic.

Bargain with children if you need to; perhaps suggest that one of the presents they really want can wait until their birthday or make compromises of other types in order to satisfy the overall pursuit of getting all your Christmas gift shopping done within your planned budget.

Be More Creative

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to be more creative with your gift-buying, and thinking outside the box can often be far more rewarding than being too obvious with your present-buying approach.

If you are capable of making your own gifts, this is also a great angle to take, not least because it shows real effort and dedication. Also, small keepsakes can prove to have more resonance and appeal than a gift that is showy and is all about the price tag. 

Above all, try to instill a sense of importance that is not only measured in the value of items but more in the merit of the emotion and thought that comes from the receiving of the gifts themselves.

Stanley Gatero is a writer at Disrupt Magazine. He covers topics concerning technology, entrepreneurship, news, and sports. He is an avid traveler.

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