Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year when “all the lights are shining, and laughter fills the air.” But as beautiful as it is, the holiday season can leave you with financial issues after all the spending. Fortunately, with these helpful Christmas shopping tips, you can stay away from the stress of shopping and finance and happily celebrate Christmas with your loved ones.
In this article:
- Make a Shopping List and a Budget
- Get the Best Deals
- Prefer Cash to Credit Cards
- Get Smart In-store Shopping
- Follow the CDC’s Recommendations
Useful Christmas Shopping Tips During COVID-19:
Make a Shopping List and a Budget
One of the most important Christmas shopping tips is planning. Planning out in advance can save you from the nightmare of overspending on Christmas shopping during this pandemic time.
Make a List of Gift Recipients
Instead of buying gifts for everyone in your families and friendship circles, you should consider drawing names or doing gift exchanges. Chances are, you’re not the only person sticking to a budget.
Set a Spending Limit
Set the maximum money you can spend on gifts. Each time you want to add up the list, follow these steps:
- Ask: Is it a big figure?
- Work your way through the list and number items in order of importance.
- Ask: What can be cut out from the list?
When following these steps, it’s essential to be honest with yourself. Determine and prioritize the most important people/things on your list. Otherwise, you may suffer from stress and anxiety due to overspending.
And don’t just limit within gifts. Apply the same principle for food, traveling options, charitable offerings, or family gatherings during Christmas.
So have your budget plan by making a list of recipients and setting your spending limit. By doing so, you will be less likely to fall victim to impulse Christmas purchases. But—most importantly—you must stick to your plan!
Get the Best Deals
Knowing your deals is undeniably among the most crucial Christmas shopping tips. The more you understand the prices, the more confident you will be when making your purchases, especially when belt-tightening is the norm as an effect of COVID-19.
To understand your deals, you should:
- Make a thorough research of your items and their prices.
- Sign up for newsletters to get free deals or discounts on special occasions like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
- Check online and offline stores as well. Why? Because the best price is somewhere out there.
Do your research and seal the deals!
Prefer Cash to Credit Cards
Credit cards are convenient, but they can make your spending get out of hand. And the joy of Christmas won’t last long when you are left with a significant amount of debt to pay off afterward.
Use cash instead of credit cards will help you stay on budget—track spending by allocating cash into envelopes for each recipient.
If you need to use credit cards, pay everything off before the payment due date, or ideally, as soon as possible.
And whether you take cash or credit cards, make sure to avoid physical contact as much as you can. This may be hard with cash. For credit cards, contactless cards are your good friends.
It’s important to note that contaminated surface isn’t considered a common medium of COVID-19 spreads, according to CDC. Nevertheless, avoiding physical contact can reduce the overall risk.
Get Smart In-store Shopping
One thing that won’t change with the holiday season this year is, the closer it gets to Christmas, the more people go shopping. While stores are limiting the number of shoppers inside and packed aisles may be rare, but still, there could be a long waiting line before you get to the doors.
So do your in-store shopping as early as possible. It’s best to do so at off-hours (right after opening, before closing, or on weekdays during working hours) when stores are much emptier.
Follow the CDC’s Recommendations
Although shopping for the holiday season is important, you should never undermine recommendations from the CDC. Here are a few to bear in mind:
- Keep social distancing of at least six feet from others.
- Wear a mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and use it after leaving public places (stores, supermarkets, etc.)
- Use soaps to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after you get home.
Christmas is coming soon. Whether it becomes the most expensive time of the year or the most wonderful time of the year will mainly depend on your preparation. Start preparing today with these Christmas shopping tips above to get rid of the financial frustrations and have a memorable time with your family!