Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Shopping: Avoid the Stress

Oh yes, it is that time of year again. Black Friday is over and it is time to get down to some serious shopping. This time of year can be a very big stress inducer as the shopping days left seem to disappear. FYI: as of the writing of this post there are only 26 shopping days left before Christmas. DON’T FREAK OUT! Here are a few tricks to keep the stress level down and complete shopping on time without too much hassle.
Typically I am the kind to wait until the last minute to get everything done. Over the last few years I have decided that this is not the best way to go. Especially now that I have kids. Thankfully The Wifey takes care of making the lists and figuring out where we are going to get everything. I just help decide what we are getting everyone. Still though, I always dread the day that the shopping actually has to be done. So what can one do to bring the stress level down?
  • Be Prepared – One of my biggest problems in years past was not knowing what I was going to get. Make a list, know exactly what you are getting and for whom.
  • Set a budget – oh no, there’s that word. B-U-D-G-E-T … Allow yourself a certain amount of money to be spent and do your best to stay in that range. If you are on a tight budget like us, there are plenty of great buys out there at great prices that will allow you to stay within said budget.
  • Window shopping and online shopping – It is always a good idea to price shop before you buy. Many retailers sell the same products, but there is always that one that will have it cheaper than the rest. Online shopping can provide some monetary relief as a lot of online retailers offer free shipping or great discounts and special offers. Take the time to browse around and see what you can find.
  • Coupons – This is not a shock. Online and through sales papers. coupons are a holiday shopper’s best friends. Great bargains, great prices, and sometimes free stuff. Come on, who loves free stuff? THIS GUY DOES
  • Calm down – Remember, it is just shopping. Treat it like any other time you go out shopping. Don’t let the stress of the word “holiday” get you in a panic. Have a fun and enjoyable experience and watch as the people you are giving to light up with excitement.

Do you have any more tips to make the holiday shopping season less of a stress inducer? Share in the comments and let’s all have a great holiday season!


Jonathan Sherman said...

Great post! We used to be holiday stress monkeys, but the last several years have been much better--using strategies similar to yours. Here are my "Top 5 Stress Busters" if interested: Thanks for all your posts. I enjoy your tweets and the posts I've read so far on your blog. Keep up the good work dad!

Kelly said...

I'm the procrastination queen! I love the idea of making a list of what you'd like to purchase for your friends and family. It would make it so easy to get in and out of the dreaded crowded shopping mall!

ChopperPapa said...

I've decided that this year each kid gets (one) gift but its kind of a biggee, so I'm not pressed for time....annnnnnnnnd since they are with their mother over Christmas this time (divorced) she gets to be is good!

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