Last week, I asked you if you had begun your Christmas shopping yet. At that time, I hadn’t started my Christmas shopping. Well people, news flash. Christmas is only about two weeks away. If you have not started shopping yet, you are setting yourself up to overspend. Here’s how to save money on Christmas.
One of the first steps to saving money is to shop early. You don’t want to end up shopping at the last minute, in a humongous crowd of people all looking for that perfect, reasonably priced gift. If you want to keep from overspending; it’s much better to start your shopping as early as you can. If you wait until the last minute, it will create pressure to rush and find a gift. It’s very hard to be patient and find a deal if you’re in a rush. Especially when everyone and their momma is out shopping with you.
So what else can you do to save money during this time of year? One thing that I do is keep it uppermost in my mind that Christmas is not about buying expensive gifts for my loved ones. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to buy my wife and kids great gifts, but I’m not Micheal Jordan or Bill Gates. Christmas is called Christmas for a reason, and I don’t think Christ wants me to go into debt buying presents I can’t afford. Debt, especially overwhelming debt, is a weapon of the enemy. It has destroyed many a good person, some bad ones too.
I have discovered that the 99 cents only stores are a terrific place to buy wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, etcetera. I was in Dollar tree the other day and found out that they have splendid cards for all occasions. Big Lots is also a great place to find these kinds of products and more.
You also need to figure out how much money you plan to spend. You need to do this before you go shopping, not after you start. Set a budget and stick to it. Setting a budget helps keep you focused on your goal, it keeps you aware of how much money you’re spending. Make sure to include your present to yourself in the budget. A budget will also curb impulse buying if you stick to it.
Make a list of all the people you are buying gifts for and prioritize the people on the list. An easy and practical gift to give is a gift card. A favorite site for selling and buying gift cards is Gift Card Granny. This site allows you to compare offers to buy and sell gift cards from several different retailers. The home page offers many different cards, some with huge discounts. If you’re planning on buying any gift cards, be sure to look here first.
Shop online. Amazon is one the original, and the ultimate online shopping destination. They have great prices, and they sell nearly everything. On their site, you can find just about anything from books to car parts. Shopping with Amazon is safe, secure and best of all you can do it from the comfort of your home. If you must return an item, it is very easy, never a problem, and painless to do so. That’s one reason their ads are on my site. I also have an Amazon prime membership. For me, it’s worth the price, but that’s for another post. I’ll just say that I have shopped with Amazon for years, and I’ve always been happy with their prices and their service. If you’re looking for gifts that are easy on the pocketbook, give Amazon a try.
Here are five other websites where you can find attractive deals.
One the best things that you can do for your loved ones is to create “special memories” of Christmas. Stuff like that can’t be bought. What I mean is, of course, you need money to buy the ingredients to bake Christmas cookies, but taking the time to bake them with your children is priceless. It’s something they will always remember. How about that? Can you remember what you got for Christmas when you were seven? I don’t, but I’ll always remember how we would go shopping for a Christmas tree. How my Dad would tie it to the top of the car, and we’d take it home. Once we got it home, he’d take a saw, and cut a couple of inches of the trunk; before putting it in a tree stand. Those memories stuck with me.
Tell holiday stories. Help others, I’m thinking toy drives and food drives. If you can resist the cultural pressure, do your shopping two days after Christmas. I had a cousin who when her kids were young; she would always do her Christmas shopping, the day after Christmas. The kids didn’t mind because they knew they would get twice as many gifts.
Let’s keep our perspective and remember what Christmas is really about. There it is, take a deep breath and lets save some dollars. Above all, always remember the words of John 3:16. While you’re at it keep reading to verse 17.
God be with you until we meet again. Merry Christmas!!!
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