Christmas is supposed to be the time of peace, getting together and taking a step back from the stress of our daily lives. Unfortunately, for many of us, the last days and weeks before Christmas are a complete opposite of that – very stressful. Getting the right gifts is not an easy task, especially when you are on a tight budget. The following are a few ways to make your Christmas shopping more pleasant and less expensive.
1. Buy gifts online
More valuable gifts such as electronics or jewellery can often be bought cheaper online. You can compare prices in different stores to get the best deal. Another benefit is avoiding the crowds, unless you like that part of the pre-Christmas atmosphere.
There are only a few things to keep in mind regarding delivery:
- If you live in the same house as the person receiving the gift, having it delivered to your home address might not be a good idea if you want to keep it a secret. Use your friend’s address or your work address if possible.
- Make sure that the retailer can deliver in time. Most websites explicitly state this information during the Christmas shopping season.
2. Join forces
In the business world, companies form joint ventures to work together on bigger projects, in order to take advantage of a greater pool of skills and resources. You can do the same when working on the big project of getting gifts. If you join forces with someone else, you double both your ideas and your budget, which will enable you to give a more suitable and more valuable gift. It works best for people who have the same or similar relationship with the person receiving the gift, for example siblings working together on gifts for their parents or friends getting a gift for another friend.
3. Unusual or handmade gifts don’t need to be expensive
Subtle messages hidden in advertising want to make you believe that the more you spend on gifts, the happier your Christmas will be. You probably know from your own experience that this is not always accurate. A relatively inexpensive or even handmade gift often has the greatest success, especially if it somehow reflects your relationship or shared experiences with the particular person. For example, your parents or grandparents might appreciate an album of carefully selected family photos more than an expensive TV set.
4. Start early (i.e. now)
When buying gifts, you are more likely to make a wrong decision and spend more money than necessary if you start too late. If you are reading this in December, the advice of starting early might not feel that helpful, but 8th December is still way better than 15th December, which is better than 22nd December. In fact, starting now is probably the best money saving tip when it comes to buying Christmas presents.