So it’s November 9th, and while the focus has been on the US election, something else has creeped up on us all: the holiday season. Some of you might say that there’s more than a month left but have you seen Walmart? Costco? Visited Pier One Imports? It’s apparently already Christmas! In my ideal world the holiday season season doesn’t start until the weather is in the negatives but in the consumer world, the holiday season begins the minute the clock strikes 12 marking the end of Halloween.
So with Christmas season looming and panic setting in because we all know we have to buy presents for practically everyone and their mother, what can we possibly do to save our bank accounts and ourselves? I hope my 5 tried and tested tricks help you survive this holiday season!
#1. Make a list! Pull a Santa and make a list to figure out to whom you need to gift. Making a list eliminates the stress of the unknown and having a physical list of people allows you to formulate a plan of gift giving.
#2. Budget: This may seem slightly callous but I actually give gifts based on expected return. Don’t pour out the hate just yet, this is actually a well thought out idea. For a while I used to gift small and expected to receive small as well, but that wasn’t always the case. When you receive a Michael Kors bag after gifting a box of chocolates, it’s just embarrassing. But if you start gifting big while the other person gifts small, it can be embarrassing for them in turn. There’s really no winning so it’s best to read your audience and budget accordingly. But when in doubt, just gift a meaningful gift from the heart with no return gift expected: big or small they’ll appreciate it! Isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?
#3. Buy early or buy late: Paying full price sucks. Kvitka and I practically never do! We hold out for sales and clearance because it really makes no difference when the product remains the same whether you pay full price or 60% off! The in-between season is the worst because that when everyone gets their shopping done and price rocket upward. Shopping late is badd too because price get raised since suppliers know their customers are desperate! So be on the look out for sales and shop early! Subscribe to store newsletters to stay in the loop for random sales. Or if you can, organise an after Christmas holiday party and shop boxing day sales!
#4. Secret Santa: My favourite gift giving method! You set a budget, pick a name from a draw and gift only to that person. What a wonderful way to save money and not waste effort on gifting meaningless presents to a large number of people. This way we all win when you a meaningful present to one person and receive one in return too! I find this works best among a large group of friends and within the workplace as well.
#5. Potlucks: Thinking of hosting a Christmas/New Years party this year? Make sure it’s a potluck event. Simplest way to save your money and make sure everyone is satisfied because most people bring what they enjoy. You can relax from the stress of cooking for everyone and appealing to all tastes. Plus, you get to enjoy your own party for once without being stuck in the kitchen!
Let me know in the comments below, your own holiday survival tricks! Love to hear from you all.
Until next time,