It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and that means lots of joyous occasions of spending time with family and friends. It also kicks off one of the most expensive times of the year. Everyone wants to be a hero during the holiday season, but there’s no need to spend the beginning of the new year wondering where all your money went. There are ways to navigate the gift-giving season without breaking the bank.
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When you have extra time, you can really examine your options. Online shopping almost always provides a better deal on any item you can think of. A lot of services offer discounts if you make larger purchases, so having a game plan to get more gifts in one swoop can really add up on the final bill. A lot of retailers will have thresholds for which they offer free shipping as well. You have an opportunity to consider all of these money-saving options when you plan ahead for the holidays and not wait until the last minute.
Know When a Gift Needs Giving
Let’s face the facts here. You can’t buy a gift for everyone you know. It’s just not feasible. The good news is that people understand this and not everyone expects you to spend some hard-earned cash on them at the most cash-strapped time of the year. It may sound a little harsh, but make a list of those that it makes sense to get a gift for and stick to it.
It serves more purposes than just to save money. It means you can spend a little extra on the kids closest to you to make sure their Christmas is extra special instead of buying a whole bunch of cheap presents to cover the whole neighborhood. Identify those that are important and stop feeling bad for not being Santa Claus. Besides, chances are that some of the people you are giving presents to are stressing about money at this time of year too. They probably would appreciate everyone just taking it easy.
Give the Gift of Time
Presents are great, and everyone loves them, but the greatest gift you can give doesn’t cost a thing. Spend time with family and friends. That’s what the holiday season is really all about in the first place. Give the time of your kids too. Let them spend a little extra time with the grandparents. Volunteer to do something nice for those less fortunate. These kinds of gifts are the most meaningful of all, and they cost nothing at all.
The holiday season should be a time for celebration, not a time to be stressing over your bank account. A little planning and preparation can really take the sting out of holiday shopping’s effect on your wallet, but you have to get started now to take advantage of all of the tools at your disposal.