As the holiday season draws closer, most of us will be anxious about getting through shopping for Christmas gifts. The obvious concerns are whether we will have enough money to buy presents for our loved ones, and still have enough left over to spoil ourselves. Remember that any bonuses you get at the end of the year are actually to help you budget for January expenses. So if you’re not careful, Christmas shopping can seriously burn a hole in your wallet.
There are several ways to save money and time over the festive season, so you can spend more quality time with your family. Getting your Christmas shopping done early will free up some time so you can have that braai with friends you have been dreaming about all year.
Putting money back in your pocket is definitely the name of the game here. All your usual running expenses like petrol and airtime also typically climb during this period. So having cash to spare over the holidays will ensure you don’t run out of fun before Christmas.
Below are some useful tips that will help you save this festive season especially if you’re on a tight budget. If these resonated with you, please check out more holiday insights from the author by checking out the Wonga blog
Buy Before The Season Hits
Many South African retailers have a tendency to up prices over the festive season. So while gift items may be cleverly disguised as a special, you no doubt end up paying more than you would if you bought earlier in the year. Shopping outside of the festive season is the first practical step you can take to put savings back in your pocket. It makes a difference if you’re always on the lookout for good deals well before December. Having your own personal savings setup to accommodate gift buying during the year will go a long way to having more bucks available for Christmas.
What To Do With Unwanted Gifts
We all have gifts, many unused and brand new, lying in the cupboard. Preparing a gift like this without having to spend a cent, is a guaranteed money saver. Make sure though that you don’t make the mistake of giving the gift to the person who gave it you in the first place. You will be surprised how many items you may find that you personally have no use for, that will make excellent Christmas presents.
Don’t Buy Presents, Make Them
You probably have thought of the idea to make and craft gifts yourself, and this is a fabulous way to reduce your holiday spending and add a personal touch to a special gift. You can also involve your kids for a fun family project while you create these unique gifts. Your family will share in the excitement when it comes to the time of giving presents they assisted in creating.
A Present For The Family
A nifty way to save more money over the holidays is to look at whole families rather than individuals when buying presents. DVDs are an excellent choice for families and quality time they can enjoy together. Putting together a basket of snacks and goodies is another nice way to spread Christmas cheer without severely denting your budget. Droe wors and biltong are universal choices you can add to some homemade snacks you can prepare. You can plan beforehand and work out a budget for a number of food baskets.
Focus On The Kids
You’d be surprised how many people have actually thought of going this route. If you probe a bit, you will find many of your friends who have chosen to shop exclusively for children’s gifts. At the same time you have to be careful not to overspend on the kids if you’re leaving the adults out this year. Reggies have a wide range of high quality toys for children of all age groups. You can either make it a point to buy toys which are extra special, or shop at alternative outlets in order to save more.
Shop Smart Online
Online retailers like Takealot and Zando have made shopping for gifts easy and convenient. It is very useful to be on their mailing lists so you can get news of any specials they might be running. Many shopping portals in South Africa now offer free 24 hour delivery on some items in major cities, so be sure to check the item you intend buying has this feature. In case you have forgotten someone in your gift planning, last minute shopping for Christmas gifts can be easier online, although remember to check the delivery dates to ensure the items arrive in time. You don’t want to be stuck in a mall during the Christmas rush, unless of course you are done with shopping for gifts and just want to enjoy Nandos, Milky Lane and a movie with your family.
Christmas is the time for giving, but it is also the time of the year when you should look forward to receiving. Reducing your shopping costs over the holidays will see that you make the most of this joyous time and have enough spending money to do so. And remember the more you aim to get shopping for Christmas gifts done ahead of the time, the more time you will gain to spend on paying down your debt or saving.