Christmas lights shining over the streets, children caroling house to house, colorful lanterns and festive decorations everywhere—these only mean one thing: Christmas is just around the corner! And while it is celebrated differently around the world, everyone knows that it’s a time for giving gifts.

That’s why it’s so easy to get caught up in spending too much during the holiday season. But since we’re celebrating it a little differently this year and money may still be tight for some, how can you make sure you’re saving extra bucks on holiday shopping?

Here are some handy tips for you to check out!

1. Create a holiday budget

Since Christmas is fast approaching, it would be better to start creating your budget as early as now. Plan out how much you’re planning to spend on presents, meals, festive decorations, gatherings and trips with family and friends, and other holiday-related expenses. Be sure to include even the little things, such as gift wrappers and holiday cards!

2. Make a holiday shopping list and stick to it

After setting your budget, make a list of people you want to buy gifts for. This includes not only your family and loved ones but also yourself! The more specific your list is, the better. It would also be better to include how much you’re willing to spend on each person. This can help you think about what items will fit within your budget and not go over it. Remember, it’s not enough to create a list. What’s more important is to stick to it!

If you have a big family, here’s a tip for you: you don’t always have to shop for every niece, nephew, and extended member of your family, especially when you’re following a tight budget. You can give one gift that the entire family will enjoy, so you won’t be forced to spend more than you can afford. We’ll share with you some awesome and practical gift ideas as we go along.

3. Take a good look at what you have at home

Before adding items to your cart, go around your house and take a look at stuff you can re-gift in a special way. This can be clothes, pouches, or bags that still have the tags, or even art supplies or small kitchen appliances that you bought at discounted prices but never used. Doing so can help you avoid buying duplicate items and save you from unnecessary spending.

4. Pay with cash or use prepaid cards

Now that you know how much your Christmas shopping list is worth, set aside the cash you need before you set foot inside the mall. Doing so will keep you from falling into the trap of impulsive spending.

While many stores have already opened after months of lockdown because of the pandemic, a lot of consumers have now shifted to online shopping. In that case, prepaid cards can be your best friend. You can use them to track your online purchases and limit your spending by loading them only with enough money you need for holiday shopping online.

You can buy prepaid cards at major grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail outlets. Just be sure to ask about the reload charges because each prepaid card comes with varying fees.

5. Use your credit card wisely

You’ve probably heard this before, but we’ll repeat it anyway: credit cards can either make or break you. Since these are powerful financial tools that can increase your purchasing power, it’s crucial to make them work for you and not against you.

Credit Card

If you’re planning to use a credit card for your Christmas shopping, don’t forget to keep track of your purchases and make sure you don’t go beyond your budget. Remember, it can be really thrilling to buy a lot of nice and heartwarming gifts. Still, the stress that comes after the excessive and unnecessary expenses you made can stay with you long after the festive season is over.

6. Start your holiday shopping early

As Christmas draws nearer, more and more people will be visiting malls. This means that you’ll have to stand in line patiently. But you can always save yourself from the hassle by buying the things on your shopping list earlier. Doing so allows you to enjoy great deals and holiday sales. Avoiding last-minute shopping can also give you the certainty that the items you want are still in stock and can be delivered on time. The same goes for those who are planning to do their online Christmas shopping.

7. Make the most of special holiday sales

One of the most popular tricks to save money on holiday is to scout for great deals and huge discounts. Among the biggest and most popular sales in the US and several other countries include Black Friday, which kicks off the holiday shopping season with big discounts on nearly everything.

If you think you’re not done shopping yet, wait three days, then you’ll have Cyber Monday, which is the online version of Black Friday. You can also wait for Free Shipping Day in mid-December, where you can buy gifts or personal items from hundreds of stores online, with no minimum order required!

8. Extend holiday cheer with homemade gifts and goodies

If you’re on a tight budget this holiday season, don’t worry! Buying someone a gift isn’t the only way to extend the spirit of Christmas. One of the most heartfelt and genuine ways to do it is by being extra resourceful and creative. For those who love spending time in the kitchen, whisking eggs and rolling dough, your baked goods can put smiles on other people’s faces. Sweet and tasty pastries are among the practical and ideal gifts you can give to a family.

You can also recall some Art Attack activities and bring out your inner artist and creative genius by creating handmade crafts like Christmas cards. Sending handwritten holiday cards is another beautiful way to express not only your creativity but, most importantly, your gratitude to the recipient.

Expensive gifts are nothing compared to the gift of time

There will come a time when your family, friends, and loved ones reach a point where they have everything they need. That’s when you’ll have a hard time thinking of what other things you can probably give. But the truth is thoughtful and heartfelt gifts, like time, always beat expensive material things.

Meaningful presents don’t always have to be expensive. You can pay a visit to your family or relative’s house, hop on a quick call with your friends, send your loved ones with Christmas cards, decorative pillows, or framed photos of the fun and unforgettable memories!

As they always say, Christmas is a prime season to fall into the trap of impulsive buying. But you have a lot of ways to dodge this temptation and save some money while keeping your holiday spirits up! By following these holiday shopping tips, you can save yourself from potential debts and stress that can last even until the festive lights are out!

Be armed with a list and don’t buy the stuff you don’t need! Have a safe holiday shopping!

Disclaimer: The content herein is not, and is not intended to be, legal, financial, investment, or other advice.