The holidays are approaching very fast. Most of us will be traveling, cooking and shopping. I have to admit, even though it can get a little crazy, I love this time of the year and spending time with family. But in all the mayhem, we can get caught up and go overboard! Let's admit, most of us will eat more than usual, spend more than than we could afford to spend, and simply indulge more than we need to....all because it's a "sale" and "it's the holidays". But here's a few tips that I've used over the years to help to avoid getting caught up in that trap.
Five ways to save money during the holidays when shopping and still stay FABULOUS ON A BUDGET!
1. Plan ahead, Make a list, and set a budget! (That's actually 3 tips in one). Only shop for the people you plan to get gifts for. When you know who you're hopping for, it makes for easier budgeting. When you go shopping don't get caught up in the, "oh, I know this person would like this and its on sale" mess... Hunty, you are setting yourself up for over spending. Stick to the list!
2. Shop outside the box! What do I mean by that? Well, try to focus on getting ONE universal gift for a group of people instead of buying a bunch of gifts for individuals. This is when you can use your creativity! Get crafty, bake, host a dinner, etc. Not only are you crafty, you have earned a title of being a "socialite" as well :) That's always a plus. It shows more of your heart and will help you stay on task.
3. Shop at discount stores (even online) rather than the mall. In order to do that, you have to get over "brand names" defining the quality of the gift. Who's all that for? Is it for you to get credit for buying an expensive purse or is it really for them? I have been able to find some FANTASTIC deals online on boots, dresses, accessories, etc. recently. And still keep my diva going :). You can do the same too. If you are a person that only purchases based on brands, but are always claiming your broke, then it may be time to re-evaluate some things. If you are looking for you to purchase a gift that will set you back a few months....WELL......at the end of the holiday, remember, you still have bills to pay!! Check out www.amiclubwear.com. This has been my fav site in the last weeks... TRULY money savings and still allowing me to keep my fabulous right :)
4. Pay with cash. It is easy to know how much cash you are willing to spend and have more control. If you swipe and swipe, understand you are creating another bill you will have to pay well after the holiday season. But it's your choice. I rarely get store credit cards. I don't care about the "extra percentage off the purchase" because I just literally earned myself an ADDITIONAL bill that is going to cost more than what I was going to pay in the first place. If don't have the cash in hand, it goes BTTR (Back To The Rack)!"
It is easy to fall for all the advertising being sent in the mail, on television and online. There are some folks I know who start tallying all the items that are going on sale without figuring what their budget it. After they spent all this money they didn't have, now they're borrowing money for gas to put in their car, cell phone bills, and even rent. I'm here to say, you can do both! You can look good and still have some cash left over!
Next week, I'll show you how!