With the holidays approaching, it’s time to start thinking about spreading cheer and purchasing gifts for loved ones. Most agree: holiday shopping can be stressful and costly, and it’s important to prepare yourself early on in order to make the process enjoyable and efficient, especially if your shopping is to be had in freezing temperatures, a brutal feature of Chicago! Remember, you’re expressing gratitude and love, two things that can boost health and happiness, so make the most of this season and its shopping adventures.
Whether you want to include clients, co-workers, friends, or family, creating a list of people to shop for can help you manage your time and budget and avoid stress, as best as possible. Here are five tips to make holiday shopping simpler, so that you can savor the holiday spirit and bring smiles to those around you.
Make A List Of People & Gifts
Staying organized and creating a list of people whom you need to shop for can save time, money, and agony. When you can calculate numbers and guarantee that all heads are covered, you’ll be able to better estimate a budget and schedule to get all your shopping done. You can also buy in bulk if you have a large group of people of equal importance, such as for co-workers or clients. Or, if you are heading outdoors, shopping up a storm, and enjoying an exciting night in a bustling city, such as Chicago, you can purchase a holiday package that features a hotel stay, shopping gift card, and dining recommendations.
Look For Sales
Often around the holidays, there are tons of terrific sales, and scheduling your shopping trips around these opportunities can help you save on money, time, and energy. Many department stores, as well as smaller boutiques, have end-of-year sales, and these markdowns can be astronomical, especially as the countdown draws near. Inquire with stores to see if markdowns will go lower within a few days, to be sure that you are getting the best deal possible. You can also go on Black Friday or Cyber Monday (if you dare!) for ridiculous savings.
Scour Online Deals
Doing research online for hot items at reasonable prices can be cost-efficient and allow you to focus on other things, such as work and family life, as opposed to browsing through department stores. Don’t be afraid to compare prices and brands before charging your card. To save even more cash, look for items that don’t require shipping or delivery charges, as purchasing online can sometimes amp up the cost through these additional fees. Ordering online is also a great idea if you are sending gifts to friends or family outside your area.
Don’t forget the sentiment of the holidays: it is about love, gratitude, and joy. A gift should embody these emotions. Whether you want to purchase an expensive item, or create a gift yourself, make sure that the purchase has meaning behind it and fits the recipient perfectly. If budget is tight, consider making your own holiday gift, with creativity and care. You can bake cookies, knit a sweater, or paint a piece of artwork or pottery. The choice is yours!
It’s never too early to start saving up for holiday gifts, as the holiday season is guaranteed to happen every year, and it’s bound to be somewhat expensive. By creating budget in advance and working towards saving money for holiday gifts in advance, you’ll be able to go into the process with resources and direction. By getting gifts early, you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy the festivities, without feeling overwhelmed or under a time-crunch.