Christmas season is a time to be jolly and to be thankful for all the blessings that we have received. For other people though, they perceive the holiday season as a time for shopping at the last minute and being stressed about the pressure of gift-giving.

How can you avoid feeling like Mr. Grinch and instead channel your inner Santa Claus during this festive season? You’ll be able to enjoy the holiday season more without stressing out too much if you have made a good plan for your shopping. Follow these tips to a headache-free and hassle-free gift-giving season:

Start Saving Early

Avoid the headache caused by holiday gift shopping expenses by making a plan early. You don’t need to wait a month or two before Christmas and start saving. You can start as early as beginning of the year, or a day after Christmas. If you allocate a portion of your savings towards your holiday shopping as early as you can, you’ll have a lot of money saved when the gift-giving season comes.

Set a Budget Within Your Reach

Though we love to lavish our loved ones with luxurious gifts such as designer bags and clothes, not many of us can’t afford it. To 3 avoid bankruptcy and credit card debt, make sure that you are planning a budget that is realistic.

Sure, money is not an issue if you’re earning a 6-figure salary every month. However, if you’re just like the majority of people who make a average earnings, setting up a budget within your means is doable and wise and can help with you avoiding high bills after the holiday season.

Create a Shopping List

Making a holiday shopping list is like creating a layout when you’re designing a house. This list will serve as your guide for the holiday season. What should be included in the list?

First, write down the names of the people that you’re planning to give gifts to–you can even use an app. Next to their name, create an estimate budget for each individual and what gift are you planning to give to them. This way, you have a rough estimate of how much you would be totally spending.

Do Your Homework

We all want to get the best deal there is, don’t we? It’s a bummer when you purchased an item at a higher price when it’s offered at a much lower price at other shops.

Check with different shops first and see which one offers the lowest rate. If you’re shopping at your local stores, visit each store first and compare their prices. Local business usually have promotions going on so checking out which shop you will get the best value for your money is a good idea. If you’re shopping online, you can use websites that compare products offered by retailers.

Countdown to the Holidays

Not in the mood for holiday shopping yet? One way to beat procrastination is by counting down the days before Christmas. You can either put an X mark on your calendar or use countdown apps on your mobile phone.

If you know how many days left before Christmas, you can plan your shopping really carefully. You can even create a task once in every two weeks to do your holiday shopping. This way, you won’t cram all of your shopping into one day when the holiday season is near.

Be Thoughtful When it Comes to Your Gifts

The goal of giving gifts is that the receiver would love what was given to them. You just can’t give presents just for the sake of giving. Be thoughtful and creative with your gift ideas.

Take into consideration the things that your recipient wants and if it’s going to be useful for them. When all else fails, giving a gift card is a great gift option.

Get on Your Shopping Game

After all the sleepless nights spent on brainstorming and creating holiday shopping strategy, it’s time to put that plan in action. Shopping is one of the most pleasurable experiences so enjoy every moment going through shops and looking for unique items. Be on the lookout for great deals and promotions. Saving a few dollars per gift item will go a long way.

Make use of coupon codes and cashback offers as well. There are also lots of online retailers that offer free shipping–don’t be shy on taking advantage of as much freebies as you can.

Be wise and creative when it comes to holiday shopping–it is only one of many ways your spending money this season. If you carefully plan out everything as early as you can, you will be able to look forward to a festive and happy holiday season.

Incredible Planet Staff

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