The holiday season is fast approaching. The snow is coming, the Mariah Carey covers are playing, and the shopping frenzy is just around the corner. With all of the hoopla about the holidays, you might be sweating buckets thinking about all of those family members, friends, and coworkers you need to start shopping for. Should you get a coworker a gift? Do you need to send out Christmas cards to everyone? Do you have enough money for everything? These might be questions you are pondering before the holidays begin.
The stress of it all can get to you really quickly so it is important to start planning earlier rather than later. Now might be getting closer, but Black Friday still has not happened yet so you have plenty of time to get your list in order and how to tackle it well. Beating those holiday blues and making sure you get your duties done in time to enjoy the holidays should be your main goal, so if you need some help getting through your shopping, check out these tips.
Set a Budget
Racking up tremendous amounts of credit card debt or overdoing it with your bank card will leave you feeling financially exhausted. Going into the holiday shopping season, people fail to remember that presents add up quickly, especially when you are looking for big-ticket items like electronics.
Setting a budget is the best way to help you out, and even further than that using a sales tax calculator at https://taxfyle.com/sales-tax-calculator/ helps you get the most accurate numbers for your budget. You can still get the things that people want, including yourself, but you always need to remember that you have to be practical and know when something is just not going to be affordable or fit into your shopping budget.
Take Note of Product Prices Before Sales Begin
Everything seems to be on sale during the holidays to entice people to spend more. It may seem like a blessing, but it is merely a clever marketing trick by stores and companies to get people to shell out more money willingly. What they do is markup products before the sales begin, then drop them when the event begins and claim that you are saving 40, or 50, or 60+% and so on. This can make shopping and keeping that budget intact a difficult task, but the solution is to bookmark websites and circle prices in flyers, so you know how much they cost now; then when you go to the store, you can cross-reference it and see for yourself if the product has actually been marked up to look like there was a significant reduction. This trick causes a lot of people to buy gifts that end up costing more than they can find elsewhere.
Buy and Support Local Businesses
The holiday season is a good time to be charitable. If you feel like you do not have enough to donate to charities or foundations, a good way to still buy things for people and give back to the community is to support local businesses. The big box stores and mega-corporations will be fine without your money, but small businesses can get lost in the shuffle. Buying local and supporting a business that has homegrown roots helps a local person keep food on their table and keep their business running to help serve the community. It could be decorations, gifts, or even buying food for a party; the little things help out, especially during the holiday. This is a good way to get shopping done and feel good about your spending choices.
Homemade Gifts Makes Shopping Easier
Another good way to provide holiday cheer without going overboard with your budget is to flex your creativity and give DIY gifts a shot. Making gifts is a great way of showing someone that you put some serious thought into giving them something. It is easier to go out and buy someone that new game or kitchen utensil, but taking the time out of your day to sit down and craft something that they want is especially thoughtful. A lot of people consider the holiday season more about spending time with loved ones than spending money on material goods, so you can merge the two by creating a fun gift like a DIY candle or a small piece of furniture and give it with love. You can even buy your materials from a local shop too.
Don’t Do It All In One Shot
Holiday shopping fatigue is very real. Even when shopping online, you can get burnt out from scrolling through endless pages of products looking for a deal that saves you $2 more, but it is especially bad when you are walking around malls and stores for hours in crowds. While the stores may be less crowded come this holiday season, it is no doubt that you will be on your feet for a significant amount of time. The best piece of advice is to spread out your shopping days to prevent this fatigue from setting in. Allocate each day for certain people and map out the stores that you will be shopping for them so you can keep it geographically close. Too much shopping can cause you to have an achy back and feel worn out, so take your time.
Find Time to Destress
Spreading out your shopping times is not the only way to keep yourself from getting emotionally and physically overwhelmed. On your days off, you should find time to relax and focus on destressing exercises. Meditating, drinking tea, journaling, and relaxing with a nice book are good ways to distance yourself from all of the holiday shopping drama. Not only are they good for the rollercoaster of holiday emotions, but they help with your general well-being too.
Holiday shopping is nearly upon us, which means a mountain of stress for the unprepared. To help you survive the seasons shopping, you should prepare early and use these tips to help conquer your list and come out on top.