Economical Holiday Shopping: Not a Myth!
Christmas is only 5 days away and the shopping malls are more crowded than ever! Did you know that the average American spends over $900 on Christmas each year? This includes gifts, decor, festivities and food, but it is still a lot of money! Giving gifts and spreading cheer brings so much joy, but it might not be worth it when you look at your credit card bill next month. Here are a few simple tricks to minimize spending for your holiday season:
- Make it yourself. Everyone has some talent or gift which they can use to make gifts. Whether it is painting, jewelry making, baking, carpentry or computer repair, you have an ability which other people appreciate. Use this to make cheaper, more personal gifts than anything the store has to offer. NOTE: If you have a talent that cannot be wrapped (like computer repair), give a certificate or note saying that the person may have this gift whenever they wish.
- Do online research. If you know exactly what someone wants, do not just zip to the store and buy it. Take a few minutes to look it up online and see which store has the best deal. You can often purchase that same item cheaper online and save time, gasoline and money.
- Only bring as much money as you want to spend. Leave the credit and debit cards at home. Bring an envelope containing the exact amount you are willing to spend in cash. You cannot possibly overspend and you will automatically shop more economically.
- Search through the clearance section first. If you walk into a store without a good idea of what you are looking for, head straight for the clearance section. Every store has one! The things in it are just as nice as the rest of the store. Often, you can find everything you need by visiting this section in several different stores (and save up to 70% in the process).
- Do not buy anything for yourself. Keep in mind the names of the people you are shopping for. After-Christmas sales start next week, and everything that you want for yourself will probably still be there. Wait until the pressure is off and you know whether or not you can afford it.
Regardless of whether you are shopping for this coming Christmas or have already begun your shopping for next year, some of these techniques are sure to come in handy. Spend well!
Merry Christmas from Elzey Insurance!