The holiday season is quickly approaching, and everyone is scrambling to buy gifts for their loved ones. Without a doubt, the majority of children are already looking forward to waking up on Christmas morning to open their gifts. Christmas can be an expensive and busy time of year and so preparation is key to avoid being overwhelmed by stress and getting into debt. Here are some easy-to-follow gift buying tips for the Christmas and holiday period.
- Start thinking about Christmas Gifts Aug. onwards
- Make a list of Christmas Gift recipients
- Set a budget for each gift recipient
- Factor in postage or delivery of the gifts
- Set aside your Christmas, holiday gift budget - start saving
- Take advantage of any pre-Christmas sales
- DIY gifts take time, plan early, start crafting
- Note gift ideas for each gift recipient and research prices, supply
- Keep a list of gifts you've received and other gifts you have given to ensure you do not gift duplicates and also as a guide re-budget.
- Coworkers and boss gifts - does your office or workplace have a secret Santa system?
- Do you and colleagues buy gifts, discuss a rule re this if it is an unknown.
- If you are struggling financially to buy individual family members a gift each, consider a 'family' themed gift such as a 'day out' or a movie nights, treats gift basket that they can all enjoy.
- Keep all gift receipts in case anything has to be exchanged or returned. Note the store's return policies.
Shop Early for Holiday Gifts
Things get busy over the holiday and Christmas periods so shopping early to ensure any faults can be rectified beforehand is essential. If ordering online and via post, do you have enough time to receive the gift, check it for faults, return it for replacement before it is due to be gifted to the recipient? Also allow time for postal and delivery driver delays. If ordering personalized gifts, these generally take longer to manufacture and ship out.
Factor in Holiday Gift Postage Costs
It is likely you will have multiple gifts to post out, so factor the postage costs into any gift choice. Keeping the gifts small and light in weight will keep postage costs lower. You can also arrange in many cases for the gifts to be shipped from seller directly to the gift recipient. Some sellers gift wrap, remove invoice details and allow a personalized greeting. Be aware you can't check the gift for faults if you use this method, but it can be very handy, saving money and cutting out the middleman.
Before you begin shopping, make a list of everyone for whom you need to buy holiday gifts. If your budget is limited, you can always shortlist the recipients and prioritize those who are closest to you. Consider giving a simple Christmas to distant relatives or casual acquaintances.
Set a budget for each item on the list once you've finished your list and determined the number of gifts you intend to purchase. Avoid spending money you don't have just to impress your friends or loved ones. Choose items that are within your budget to avoid holiday debt.
Where to Shop
Once you've made your decision, go to department stores or supermarkets and compare their products, prices, and item quality, as well as their product exchange and return policies. During this time of year, retailers offer discounts, sales, and promotions immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday. You can also consider purchasing gifts from a variety of online retailers. They occasionally offer a variety of unique and difficult-to-find gifts, but customers should be aware of shipping costs and online fees. Before you decide to buy something from an online store, make sure to ask questions and research the seller to avoid getting a bad deal.
Gift certificates and gift cards
If you're having trouble finding gifts for certain people, consider giving them gift cards to health spas, restaurants, or movies. However, be cautious about giving them to individuals because some people believe that gift cards are a poor substitute for gifts.
Once you have purchased all of the items, remember to keep all of the receipts because sometimes recipients receive duplicate gifts or do not like the gift they received, necessitating an exchange. You must include the receipt if they are to be shipped.