A Recovering Shopaholic’s Guide To Smarter Holiday Shopping

It’s that time of the year! Are you making your lists and checking them twice yet?

First, take this advice from a recovering Shopaholic: You must stick to your budget. The season will come with tons of shopping from a new wardrobe to presents for family and friends. Then, there is the food. How do you go about holiday shopping in a smarter way that doesn’t leave your account running on empty in the new year?

Here, a guide.

Make a list. A detailed list.
to-do list
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Category by category, create a list of all the items you plan to purchase. For instance, you can draw a table and break it into: Foodstuff, Presents, Clothes, and other essentials. Under each item, write down a list of your shopping needs. Note: Always double check that these are items you actually need. What do I mean? Do you really need a second all-white outfit when you can revamp your old one?

Click here for a guide to decluttering your wardrobe to give you more clarity on your holiday shopping!

Create a budget based off this list. And, stick to it! 
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In life, you are often faced with two major decisions: to live on a budget or to live your best life. Over time, I have found you don’t have to choose. You just need to know how to plan so well that you would be living out your best life but nobody else would know you are on a budget. To do this, you must first be realistic. Compare your current financial status with your Holiday shopping list. Put a maximum price tag on each item, and when you round it up, check that this total matches up to your bank account. Then, review your list based off this budget you have created. Should you DIY those Christmas tree decors instead of splurging on expensive ornaments?

Compare, contrast, conclude, and resolve to stick with this budget you have created. However, always leave room on your list for miscellanous expenses.

Early Shopping is best.
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Tis the season for last-minute preparations and impulse buying, but don’t get up in the chaos. Start your shopping while the prices are still reasonable, right before there is a rush-hour hike. Stock up your pantry, order those presents, and get those wardrobe essentials in time. However, there is an even smarter way to do this, which brings us to the next point.

Keep an eye for discount deals and freebies! 
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Black Friday may have ended in November, but there are lots of Christmas deals that you can hop on. Check with your favourite stores online and look out for all the ways you can get the most out of your holiday shopping budget. If you regularly frequent a store, don’t hesitate to ask about exclusive customer deals or use your loyalty cards to the most advantage. Who doesn’t love freebies?

Gift smarter. 
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We all know that buying gifts for the people you love is a huge part of the Christmas season. It may get overwhelming, especially if you are working with a tight budget. I’d share this life-saving tip I saw somewhere: There are four essential things you can get for a person: A want, A need, A wear, and A need. Pick any of these ideas and let it inspire you based on your budget. Also, consider buying gifts that more than one person can share; this works best when gifting kids! Fir instance, you can save a ton on those toys if you got one set that all your little cousins can play with.

Get an accountability partner 
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There is always that one prudent friend or family member who turns up their noses to anything that involves spending money. Holidays are the best times to cozy up to these people. Share your budget with them and encourage them to check in with you to see that you have not gone overboard. These are also the best kind of people to go holiday shopping with, especially if you’re prone to impulse buying.


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