Smart Holiday Shopping
If your like any average American living in the months of November and December you probably are familiar with the rituals associated with popular holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and several other holidays. Now if you have lived through these months you can understand the frustration and mind-numbing experience that you encounter with these several holidays, but should it be that way?
Ever since we were kids people have enjoyed spending time with family, eating tons of food and most importantly opening presents. However, somewhere along the way we lose sight of the magic that the holidays provide us and instead get roped into a spending spree's and stressful situations. So unless you enjoy fighting over another person for that last toy that Johnny really wants for Christmas or spending a lot of money that you do not have, I suggest you take some advice from Mr. Thinktank and look at these 5 holiday spending guidelines.
1. If you don't have the money upfront for a bigger purchase (or several smaller purchases) try not to buy it. That means postpone credit card usage as much as possible. Why? Because it becomes easy to fall into a massive debt that can take months or even years to recover. However, if you have a good credit score don't be afraid to use your credit card because you have obviously earned it!
2. If something is very expensive at one store go browsing at another store to try and find a better deal. Sometimes holiday shopping forces people to think that they can get a product at only one store or that it doesn't matter what store they go to because the price seems universal at all of the stores. However, I will tell you from my own personal experience that I was able to get a very very nice digital video camera for $500 less then the original price. All due to the fact that I was persistent enough to do enough research. Be careful though as prices and quality of product can become deceitful so use that buyers intuition that you have to make smart purchasing decisions!
3. DO NOT wait until the last second to do your holiday shopping. There are several obvious reasons not to do this, but one of the big ones is that it creates even more stress, which leads to possible overspending among other unpleasant holiday chaos.
4. You know that crazy thing that everyone is talking about and using, some people even called it a fad? Well if you guessed the internet then you win the prize: smart shopping! I know you are just as excited about the prize as I am. A lot of retailers are online now and there prices match what they sell directly in the store. A nice bonus to this is that most retailers offer free shipping and handling if you spend a certain limit on your order. That being said refer to point one often if your going this route. Overall use technology to your advantage and let it be your friend that way you can enjoy the holiday season and be jolly!
5. Have fun shopping and try and find items that you think will bring a smile to another person's face. Every year people ask me what I want for Christmas and I have to resort to giving a wish list. This is fine, but giving a wish list takes some of the magic out of the holiday season and usually I am not very surprised. I really enjoy it though when I get a gift that is unexpected and unique, even if it is a small present. This is especially true for exchanging gifts with your significant other. However, like all the rules there is a downside and that downside is that the gift you give will not be received well by the receiver so stick to some of these guidelines.The first is to not give a gift that you feel someone absolutely needs (of course unless they asked for it). The second piece of advice is try to stick with smaller gifts until you feel comfortable taking risks with purchasing gifts that people don't expect.
When it comes to the end of the day, try to enjoy and embrace the chaos that the holidays produce. Who knows maybe this will be the start of many holidays to come where you can finally relax and enjoy a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate without having anxiety of having to shop. Wishing everyone a happy holidays!!!