Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Shopping on the Cheap

If you are like us, and like many many families worldwide, holiday shopping can make one’s brain hurt when it comes to thinking about the monetary aspect of it all. We are not a family that dwells too much on how much money each child is worth in Christmas presents. We do try to get them the same amount of items. When it comes to money though, we just set a limit on how much we spend all the way around.

This year I think The Wifey and I did the best we have ever done in our three years of holiday shopping for the kids. Each year the lists grows a little more and the budget does too. Almost every year we go over our budget and kick ourselves when bills are due. This year however we were able to get it done with the quickness and under budget.

A few quick tips for those on a tight budget this year. We live primarily paycheck to paycheck. Factoring bills as soon as I see a pay statement (usually 2 days before being paid). We know how much we will have leftover even after factoring out money for eating out. We squeeze it really tight sometimes, and over the last few years we have figured out how to accomplish everything at smaller cost.

Always figure out where the sale is. Sometimes the extra 10 minute drive will save you 10 dollars or more. If you are really looking, you can find huge savings in places you would never think of.

Settle for the next best thing. “Wow Dude that leather jacket is pretty stylin. Where did you get it?” My reply: “It is actually fake leather and it is from K-Mart. But thanks man!” I am a man of little shame and if I can get a look alike product at Wal-Mart for $20 less I will because that is $20 dollars towards something else. Quality doesn’t always have to be expensive. Take name brands off of the list and look for a quality bargain.

Big mistake for us around the holiday shopping season is thinking we haven’t bought The Kiddos enough stuff. Now, a lot of people would take this time to talk about how it is not about the amount of stuff. My children are 3 and 1 and to a certain extent, yes it is. HOWEVER: I also know that the more I get them, the more toys pile up in the basket not played with. Plus, there are other people buying for my children. Stick to just a few items that will be their favorites (my kids are easy to read) and don’t worry about the hundred extra items.

Finally: Don’t sweat it so much. Tis the season for laughter and joy. Not anxiety over money and frugality. It can be achieved with a little effort and a little cheer. Facing it with the attitude that no matter how tight you have to be, the joy that it will bring is well worth it, and not worth the brain freeze.

With all that in mind get out there and hit the stores! Have fun and be full of joy. The season is one of happiness and good tidings. Don’t let life drag you down! And a friendly reminder that there are only 18 shopping days left until Christmas (better get a move on)

1 comment:

Emily said...

Excellent post! @doubleclicktech

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