Before you have even had time to finish your Thanksgiving leftovers, the Christmas shopping season is here! Even if you have a long Nice List this year, there is no need to stress. We have some tips on getting through this holiday shopping season without running your wallet and your sanity dry.
Make a list: Write down everyone that you will be buying a gift for – even if it is something small! Jot down some gift ideas for each person along with the maximum amount you can spend on their gift. If you tip your mail carrier, baby sitter, or doorman at Christmas, don’t forget to include them on this list. This will help you determine your holiday budget.
Spread out your shopping: Even if you won’t listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving, you can still start your holiday shopping before December! Keep your eyes open all year for the perfect thing for your loved ones. That way when December arrives, you will already have a head start on your shopping and can avoid some of the hassle. Make sure you put all the early purchases in a designated space so you don’t forget about what you bought earlier in the year.
Do your research: If you aren’t sure what specific brand or type of item to buy, check online for reputable reviews. Sites like Amazon.com offer user reviews and ratings that make it easy to see feedback. Comparison sites like Pricegrabber.com can help you find the best online price as well.
Take advantage of no-cost holiday shipping: Many retailers will offer last-minute shoppers the gift of free shipping that is guaranteed to arrive on or before Christmas Eve. If you prefer to shop early, many websites offer free shipping when you spend a certain amount or more.
Don’t let holiday shopping get the best of you or your budget. With a little extra effort and planning, you could save yourself some money and stress. For additional budget tips, talk with a member of our staff at Alpine Bank. We are always willing to help with any of your personal finance concerns.