We understand how important it is to save money, but the holidays have a way of dragging your account balance to hell. Before you know it, you’re selling your furniture on Facebook Marketplace. Don’t let this be you this holiday season.
Here are our top five tips to help you buy great gifts without having to ask for a loan a few weeks later.
Begin to save money by making a budget
For lots of people, this is easier said than done, especially if you have kids or very picky loved ones. We get that, but it’s crucial to set realistic boundaries. So, whatever your budget, be unapologetic about it. It’s your money and no one who cares about you should make you spend it in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or puts you in a compromising position (again, unless you have kids). By making a list of all the people you’ll need to buy for and putting a specific dollar cap on each person’s gift, you are guaranteed to make it out of the holiday season without being in the hole. You may even have a little bit of money left over. Whodathunkit?
Opt for experiences instead of trendy items
Not to sound like we were born during the great depression, but electronics are really expensive, man. Even if you do save money on it, what’s 10% off of a bajillion dollars? There’s always a new generation released before you can get used to the Boomer generation of whatever the thing is and you’re going to pay through the nose for it every. single. time. To bypass the in-store frenzy and disrespect to your wallet, opt for a creative experience instead and put the details in a nice card. Plan a staycation in your city or road trip. Find an off-the-beaten-path destination like a winery or interesting tour and plan a day around it. If it feels like something they would be interested in, it should be received well.
Check Etsy for unique gifts
There are tons of uber talented leather artisans, metalsmiths, artists, jewelry makers and more that make amazing pieces at affordable prices for the quality. Seriously, like scary affordable; like “what’s the catch” affordable. Etsy is an incredible destination for home goods, accessories, jewelry, art prints and anything else you can think of that can be handmade – even food! Around the holidays, Etsy’s site is very easy to navigate because it has popular search categories for you to look through and, best of all, Etsy has encouraged their sellers to provide free shipping. So, chances are high that shipping will be at a low cost or free. Just make sure you order your items right away because many of these sellers are a one-man band and have a ton of orders to fulfill around this time.
Save money by only shopping sales and getting cashback
If you don’t have a cash back reward card and/or you don’t have a cashback reward account like Rakuten Ebates, you’re slippin.’ There is no reason for you to pay full price for any items when there are tons of Google Chrome plug-ins, rewards programs, and websites dedicated to finding you the best deal on any item you’re looking for.
Purchase a vintage or antique item
Vintage and antique items are great picks because they are dirt cheap for the quality, unique, and often have an interesting story to go along with them. Lots of associates who work at vintage and antique stores are the keepers of those stories and can point you in the direction of an item that fits the interests of your loved one if you can explain what he/she is into. This is a perfect place to find beautiful décor pieces for new homeowners, eclectic jewelry and handbags, and creepy, yet amazing portraits of people you don’t know.