With a little advanced planning and determination, you can easily finish your holiday shopping with minimal stress in advance of this year’s gift-giving season. Here are five tips that will have you crossing items off your list faster than ever.
- Set Your Budget Right Now
Determine how much you need to set aside from each paycheck to reach your goal. Staggering large purchases over a longer period makes the impact on your checking account and credit card more manageable. Leave a little extra in your budget for unforeseen expenses, such as an office gift swap, or for your own special indulgences, like a new outfit or a spa day with friends (Christmas shopping is stressful!).
- Steal Ideas for Great Gifts
When you get stuck for what to get, social media can be your best friend. Use a website like Pinterest, which allows you to save images from around the Internet onto virtual pin boards. Try creating a shared board among your family members featuring the top items on your wish lists, or create your own private board on which to save your secret gift ideas for your friends and loved ones.
- Stay Organized
This strategy works especially well for large families with busy schedules. Make sure to keep your list in a location that is synced across mobile devices between your family members by using an app like Evernote or Google Docs. That way, each time you check your list, you’ll notice what the others have crossed off.
- Start Shopping ASAP
Department stores and boutiques often phase out much of their inventory in the fall to make room for new holiday inventory. For example, Neiman Marcus is offering great savings at time of publishing.
Shop While You Shop
Another great way to speed up and de-stress your holiday shopping is to take a “one for me, one for you approach.” For example, if you get yourself a new coffee maker for your home, throw another one in your cart for Uncle Walter. If you buy yourself a beautiful blouse to wear to your office party, grab one for your bestie, too. Keep a list on your phone of everyone’s sizes, interests, and hobbies, and you should be able to wrap everything up before your neighbors start decorating.