It is no secret that the holiday season presents the opportunity to overspend at every turn. There are friends who deserve a special gift that you haven’t yet been able to find. There are the limited days until shipping is double the price. There are the decorations that make everything seem just right. There are the parties and clothes. The family holiday pictures and cards. There are the kids that ask for real excavators. Yes, Max wants an excavator. One that really scoops dirt.
I am always budget conscious during the holidays and I have found a few tricks that help keep me in check so that I don’t overspend. For the past month I have considered posting some of these tricks and then Mobilicity sent me a recent survey that gave me just the push I needed.
According to new research released by Mobilicity, Canada’s smart mobile phone carrier, 58 per cent of Canadians say they spend more than they should during the holidays and a further 59 per cent find themselves making impulse purchases. This overindulgence may lead to feelings of guilt, remorse or the ‘holiday shopping hangover’.
According to the survey, young Canadians (under 35), women and households with children are at the greatest risk of suffering from the ‘holiday shopping hangover.’
So, here are some of the tricks I use to keep me from spending too much during the holidays.
1. Set the holiday mood with what you already have.
It isn’t just about what you see that sets the festive mood. It’s also about what you hear and smell. Playing Christmas carols on the radio is the first free thing that I do. Then I make the house smell like Christmas with frugal yet effective potpourri. Place some orange peels or orange slices in a pot of water with some cinnamon on the stove. Simmer all day, keep adding water and your whole house will smell happy and festive!
2. Only spend cash.
This is something my husband and I agreed to from the start. We never put Christmas on credit because we don’t want to hate paying for Christmas all year long. So every year I open my Christmas spreadsheet, start a new tab and list out the people we need to buy for. Every gift we consider buying gets entered along with the price and shipping cost. Sometimes we find a gift that we think we really need to buy and another gift has to deleted and shopped for at a lower price to make everything fit the cash budget that we set. I also love this system because I can go back and see what we bought in years past so that I don’t repeat gifts for the same person.
3. Shop online.
Shopping online has saved my budget. It is quick to compare prices and shipping at multiple locations and it will save you money. Over half of our gifts need to be mailed to the States so I like to use companies that offer free shipping. For local gifts, it is always best to compare prices before you go out to shop so that you don’t make impulse buys. Do your homework online, it will save you time and money
Do you have tips and tricks to share? I would love to hear how you are planning to save yourself from “the holiday shopping hangover”!
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