Christmas Shopping Tips for Cash-Strapped Moms
Shopping for presents is stressful enough at any time of year but at Christmas when it feels like you’re buying presents for everyone you’ve ever said hello to; it can all get a bit overwhelming. Add to that financial pressures, fussy people and still having to juggle the chores of everyday life and it could be very tempting to give everyone a lump of coal that is wrapped in newspaper, claiming that they’ve just been way too naughty. (Caution: this tactic could backfire spectacularly).
Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be so stressful, though. With a little bit of planning and a whole lot of help, shopping on a budget is achievable and could even be enjoyable. Here are a few little tips to get you started.
There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve got everything under control only to find out you’ve completely forgotten about someone 2 days before Christmas. It’s really easy to procrastinate when it comes to Christmas shopping but starting as early as possible can really benefit you in the long run. This is why planning your present list is so important: whether that’s making numerous lists, putting it in a spreadsheet or keeping track in your diary.
It’s also really important to set yourself a budget from the start. Start off by reviewing your finances and figuring out how much you can realistically afford to spend on presents as a whole. Make sure you’ve still kept aside enough money for the other stuff; such as decorations, food, and travel. Once you’ve planned your budget it’s important to try to stick to it so avoid impulse buys. You might think they’re just a few little bits but small gifts can quickly snowball and before you know it you’ve spent a quarter of your budget.
Look Out for Deals
Sometimes asking children what they want for Christmas is a really bad idea, especially when they turn around and ask for the most expensive games console on the market. You know you can’t afford it, you know they won’t be happy with a cheaper model and they think they’ll get it now that you’ve asked. If they ask for something specific it’s better to give them vague answers so they don’t presume they’re going to get it. This way you could get a cheaper version and they’ll be just as pleased because you haven’t promised anything.
The best way to get decent presents at budget prices is by looking out for offers. Keep an eye out for sites offering discounts or voucher codes when you sign up to their newsletter. If you’re strapped for time as well as cash then have a look at coupon websites which display all of the available discounts in one place, all you need to do is search for a shop or company.
A great way to save money at Christmas is by working together with the rest of the family. See if anyone else is able to chip in for a more expensive present, but make sure there are enough of you to share the cost so that you don’t go over budget. If there’s someone who is really hard to buy for and you know everyone else will be struggling to then take the stress out of the situation by working together to think of something.
So don’t be scared of Christmas shopping instead make yourself a detailed action plan, check for coupons before you buy anything full price and if you get stuck ask someone else for help. They’ll be calling you Mrs. Claus in no time.