How to Shop Efficiently for the Holidays

shopping-bags-retail-sales

December is officially here, which means holiday shopping is now on everyone's mind. If you take the time to make an efficient shopping strategy, you will be able to spend more time enjoying the season and less time worrying about what gifts are still left on your list. What better time to start making a plan then now?

  1. Start saving now. The holiday season is without a doubt one of the most financially stressful times of the year. Try sacrificing little things here and there for the time being. Like maybe cut down Starbucks trips or change to a cheaper brand at the grocery store. You'll be surprised how quickly the money adds up.
  2. Set a budget. While saving money is great, it's important to be realistic. Set aside a little time to decide how much you can really spend this season and be sure to include things such as postage and wrapping paper.
  3. Make a shopping list. Now that you have your finances all set, make a detailed list of what you planning on getting this season. This can include gifts, decorations for your home and food and beverages for any parties you might be attending or throwing. Keep this list posted on your fridge so you can always use it as a reference to stay on track with your shopping.
  4. Think outside the box. Maybe you've taken a look at your finances and realized that you truly do not have a lot to spare for the holidays. This could be a great opportunity to get those creative juices flowing. Try crafting a thoughtful gift for a friend instead of buying something. Odds are, they will cherish this more. Take a look at Pinterest for some ideas for homemade gifts.
  5. Count down to the holidays. The holiday season gets pretty crazy pretty quickly. So, keep a countdown to whatever holiday that you are buying gifts. That way, it won't sneak up on you and leave you scrambling!

Happy holidays and remember to take some time to enjoy the season!