THE holidays are supposed to be a relaxing, joyous time of the year – but when gifts come into play, the season can become stressful.
Shoppers often spend loads of money on gifts for family members, friends, and coworkers, among others.
And sometimes, as December rolls around, people feel unprepared or anxious about how to get it all done in time for the holidays.
But keeping some things in mind – like starting shopping early, sticking to a budget, or doing a gift exchange – could help keep the holiday season as relaxing as it should be.
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Start shopping early
Christmas or other holiday shoppers don’t need to start in November or December to find the perfect gift.
Smart shoppers could look for sales starting as soon as the summer or fall to prepare for the big gift-giving days.
Set a gift budget
A big stress of the holidays is spending too much – or feeling like you have to spend a lot – money on presents for loved ones.
Shoppers should set a reasonable budget with an amount of money they feel comfortable spending for the holiday.
This way, people can jump to online websites or head to stores with an idea in mind of what they can afford for which people.
Gift exchanges are money-savers
Instead of buying every single person in your family or circle of friends or office a present, think about participating in a gift exchange.
Fun exchanges like Secret Santa or White Elephant will allow people to buy just one gift, or two gifts if you’re doing it with multiple groups, instead of buying an overwhelming number of items to give people.
It’ll also allow you to give a more thoughtful or personal gift, as you’ll spend less time focusing on others.
Cash back options for shoppers
Credit card companies offer cash back perks on a lot of their products.
By using a card that allows you to get cash back, you can buy gifts for loved ones – while getting rewards in return.
Stockings instead of big gifts
Parents, aunts, uncles, and other family members can give loved ones gifts in their stockings instead of buying bigger or pricier presents.
Stockings are a fun way to give gifts without spending a huge sum of money.
Gifts could include candy, snacks, books, small toys, small games, mittens, alcohol, among other items.
Gifts from the heart
Instead of shelling out huge amounts on fancy presents, holiday lovers could give gifts from the heart.
If you like to bake, or sew, or enjoy creating artwork, you could cook or make something fun for your cousin or other loved ones.
Buying your own materials for a homemade present could be much cheaper than buying a premade item, like a designer scarf, from a store.
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Instead of heading in person to the store, shoppers can save money by scrolling store websites.
Big shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Money could see huge sales online.
Check out your favorite stores to see what’s on sale heading into the holidays.