It is very difficult not to overspend when buying Christmas gifts, we all do it! This year Canadians will spend an average of about $1593.00 up slightly from $1563 in 2018. Although 41% of this is spent while shopping on-line, the remainder 59% is spent in brick and mortar stores. As overspending at Christmas can adversely affect our finances going into the New Year it is important to make and stick to a budget when buying gifts. Here are five ways you can save money on Christmas Gifts.
1. Make a Holiday Budget and Stick to it
2. Don’t Use Credit – if you charge everything to your credit card you will be paying for Christmas well into the New Year or even for years afterwards. When people are shopping at Christmas, they tend to use their credit card instead of cash. Use your debit card instead of your credit card, if you have planned carefully all year you will have the extra money in your bank account to do just that.
3. Plan Your Christmas List Well in Advance - This will help you to buy gifts throughout the year at sales such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and if you are really organized even Boxing Day. Make sure you keep a list of who you have bought gifts for to make sure that you do not buy for a person more than once or miss anyone out.
4. Don’t forget to shop around – To save money take time to comparison shop. You should check prices on-line at two or three stores before you go shopping to make sure that you are getting the best price.
5. Don’t leave gift buying to the last minute – Panic buying will more than likely mean that you will spend more as your choices will be more limited. Plan to get all your shopping done before the holiday season begins.
6. Buy one or two Extra Gifts – You may be invited to last minute parties and need to take a gift which can throw off your budget. Buy a couple of generic gifts during the year so that you have them on hand if you need them. A bottle of wine is always a good choice to take to a Christmas get together.
7. Encourage Christmas Gift Exchanges – Secret Santa gifts or draws are a great way to save money.
8. Give a Christmas Gift to Someone in Need - Instead of giving gifts to family and friends who do not really need anything, consider donating to a charity in their name. You can also purchase an extra gift while out shopping and drop it off right away. Doing good by giving gifts to those in need instead of family members will help to get you into the holiday spirit and it can also save you money.
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