How to Save on Christmas and Holiday Gifts
Did you realize there are less than 365 days until Christmas? Like many people, Christmas shopping is not on your mind until the holiday approaches, but it should be on your mind year round. Anytime is a great time of year to purchase discounted items and hide them away for December. Here are a few tips to help you save money on presents.
Create Savings for Christmas and the Holidays
Many people set up a separate savings account for vacations, but you can also set up an account for Christmas. Taking the time to put a little aside each week or pay check can help you to reduce the amount of money you place on your credit card during the holiday season. Spending money during November and December can get out of control if you are not doing it wisely. Then you may be in financial trouble when the bills come in January. Not only are you faced with higher electric or gas bills, but your credit card can easily become maxed out during these months buying a tree, lights, presents, food, entertaining, and travel expenses. Putting the money aside now and placing yourself on a budget during November and December can help you avoid the high cost of the season.
Purchase Items in Advance
Seasonal changes create changes in store inventories and stores look to move current inventory in preparation for new seasonal items. Throughout the year holidays and big events such as Back to School approach rapidly and the retailers push to get ahead and stay ahead. Summer fun items such as bikes, scooters, pools, sprinklers, and more will be placed on clearance during the end of July to quickly move inventory to make room for school supplies. Often markdowns on toys and clothes occur right after the start of school to clear the shelves for the arrival of the new toys for Christmas.
Anytime of the year is the time to take advantage of the markdowns. Purchase items such as Hot Wheels, Polly Pockets, dolls, bikes, My Little Pony, coloring books, crayons, markers, jewelry, and other small things that you are not likely going to return when they are on sale or clearance. Clothing can also be purchased, but just remember how quickly your child is growing! You can also find discounts on perfume and colognes along with giving yourself more time to comparison shop online and in store. Gift card sales also encourage consumers to stock up with discount on the purchase price or extra spending bucks.
Finally, look for sales on hotels and airline tickets if you are planning on traveling. Work to avoid non-refundable or transferable purchases in case your plans change.
What Gifts to Avoid
Don’t purchase anything too far in advance that you may need to return later. The in-store warranty and length of time to return the product (typically 30 to 45 days) will be expired by the time you give the gift. If you discover the item doesn’t work after you give the gift it will be too late to do anything. Electronics, video games, computers, and watches are often better purchased closer to the holidays. Look for sales as competitors work to earn the business of shoppers. Also avoid perishable items for obvious reasons!
Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you! Start saving now either by putting money away or making purchases early. Look for discounts, closeouts, and best price of the season sales!
Do you have any money savings tips? Feel free to share your savings secrets…we would love to hear from you.