Christmas is less than two weeks away, and I can honestly say that I have gone crazy this year. I will say that I don’t have a budget because most of my things are automated and I didn’t go above my means, but I’ve spent the most this year than I ever have. Normally, I opt for coupons and deals to find luxe products at a reduced cost. This time I didn’t do that at all. I got people what they wanted at whatever price it was at the time. I was ready to buy gifts so I can get shopping over with. This is not the way that it should be done. Follow along for Christmas mistakes to avoid and what you can do instead.
The worst thing you can do when holiday shopping is wait. You should never buy Christmas gifts at the last minute. The two weeks before Christmas is a shopping nightmare. By the time you get to the store things are picked over, in limited supply, or out of stock altogether. Sometimes the items are even offered at a higher markup. The most popular gifts for kids and adults often get bought by scalpers and resold back at higher prices which can put a dent in your wallet. Instead of waiting until the last minute, shop throughout the year, finding deals and sales along the way. I like to start shopping for Christmas gifts as early as January right up until November.
Paying Full Price
There’s nothing wrong with buying things for the retail value, but I don’t suggest it. If you’re on a budget, then you need to either set a designated amount to shop and/or only purchase gifts that are on sale. There are so many ways that you can save on your shopping trip by just joining a simple Facebook group or email blast from a deal website. Aside from that, you should be shopping after major holidays or during major sales like Black Friday, family and friends specials, and other major deals at your favorite retailers. Don’t be afraid to use coupons from sites like RetailMeNot to save more. You should also be using a cashback portal to run your purchases through for credit card reward points or cashback.
Living Above Your Means
While gift-giving is fine, it is not the reason for the season. You should never go above your budget to pay for gifts. I understand you want to get your family everything on their list, but you need to set boundaries. To avoid negative financial repercussions, try adding a Christmas line item to your yearly budget. You can even start a Christmas club account and set a specific dollar amount to automatically deposit into the account each month. My favorite one is Blue Federal Credit Union which gives you a 1.25% APR back on up to $5000.
Christmas is coming and I hope you all are ready. I hope these Christmas mistakes to avoid and what you should do tips were helpful as we go into the next year. If you have some insight on to avoid, let us know in the comment box.
Shatel Huntley has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University. In her spare time, she works with special needs adults and travels the world. Her interests include traveling to off the beaten path destinations, shopping, couponing, and saving.