Christmas shopping was somewhat put on the back burner this year.
The end to this year has been a bit hectic in the Taylor household.
We were looking forward to our family holiday for my mum’s birthday, booked for November, when all-of-a-sudden our landlord served us notice on our flat as he was selling up.
If, like me, you have left your Christmas shopping until the last minute for one reason or another, here is a quick guide to help take the stress away whilst reducing the hit on your bank balance.
Make a list
Sounds obvious right?
That it might do, but it is still the best and easiest way to get a sense of organisation together for your trip to the high street.
Make a Christmas shopping list of everyone you plan to buy for and also apply a cost that you plan to spend on them.
Once the cost has been applied STICK to it. If you spend a penny more you are over budget.
The following tips could even help you come under your expected allowance!
Don’t Christmas shop until you drop
Take a breather, grab a bite to eat and gather your thoughts.
Yes you are on limited time, but by rushing and overdoing it you are more likely to overspend or settle on a present that with a little more consideration you wouldn’t have bought.
Take advantage of extended opening hours
Many stores open earlier and stay open later around the holiday season.
Choose less busy periods if you prefer to beat the queues!
Keep an eye out for deals such as Boots 3-for-2 deal.
I used this myself last weekend.
I had three lovely ladies to buy for (who shall remain unnamed) so I gave them a budget of £15 each.
They all like to pamper themselves so I chose 3 gift sets, ranging from body creams and moisturisers to shower creams and relaxing bubble bath.
Two came in at £15 with one costing £14. As per the rules of the promotion, the cheapest one is free, meaning that the original £45 I had allocated had now been reduced to £30, bringing me £15 under budget.
I also picked up a £5 off my next £40 spend too which I will keep for the New Year!
Do you have a thrill seeker or a car enthusiast on your shopping list?
Experience days can be a great gift for someone without you having to leave the comfort of your own home to buy them.
Mock them up a gift card from your home computer so you have something to put under the tree, then relax safe in the knowledge that there is a present on its way.
Donate to a worthy cause
Many people these days are frustrated with the commercialism that Christmas brings.
Donating to a worthy cause is a nice refreshing idea that really brings back the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas shopping online
There is still time left folks!
The ultimate way of dodging the Christmas shopping madness is to do it all online.
Be careful to check shipping times so your presents don’t arrive after the big day leaving you red faced.
You can still get a 30 day free trial from Amazon Prime, meaning.
You can get next day delivery.
Be sure to cancel before the 30 day trial period is over if you do not want to start paying a monthly subscription!
As always, if you have any Christmas shopping tips you’d like to share please let me know!
He is also a contributor to Clear Debt, ICOUNT Money and M1 Debt Advice blogs discussing all things personal finance.