Whether it’s Halloween or Christmas coming up next, if you are a smart shopper you’d already be planning for your biggest shopping spree of the year. Yes, you do need to plan things up front to ensure that you don’t end up on the wrong foot once you are done shopping. Prior planning can help you save considerable amount of stress, time and money and will, in fact, allow you to enjoy your shopping spree and the holiday season more than ever. So, let’s get into some further details on how you should approach it and what you need to do for ensuring a hassle-free shopping experience.
- Dig Out Your Shopping List For The Last Year
Yes, you guessed it right! We’re living in a digital era where digging out the shopping list for last year is nothing more than opening a file that you have already saved on your table, smartphone or computer system. Check out for whom you did the shopping last time around and how much it had cost you. All this information will certainly prove to be helpful for you in putting together your shopping budget and get things started.
- Set Up A Budget For Your Shopping Spree
When you know what exactly you had spent on buying gifts last time around, it’s quite helpful in predicting the costs you might be bearing this year. Remember, however, to take into account your current financial situation as you wouldn’t want to end up spending more than what you actually could according to your current financial status. Here you can take help from online resources like https://www.calculatorall.com/ as they offer tools that bring a realistic picture of your finances in front of you within a few moments.
However, you need to factor in all your finance sources and if there are any savings accounts that you had set up for your holiday shopping, check their balance as well and consider them as part of your overall budget. Besides, make sure that you are fully aware of the expenses coming your way and keep some cushion for any kind of possible emergencies. Besides setting up a maximum monetary limit for buying gifts, you should also take into account the expenses that you’ll have to make for entertainment, hosting parties, traveling around and doing all the decorations.
To give you better control of things, it is advisable to narrow your budget down to each individual for whom you’ll be shopping. And, if that makes a lot to manage, you may want to take the automated route as described in the next step.
- Use Holiday Planning Application
As mentioned earlier, we’re living in a digital age where technology has taken over our lives. And with everyone having a smartphone to do a lot more stuff than connecting with their loved ones, a good holiday planning app would help you to plan things ahead of time, set up a proper budget and better organize your holiday season.
If you are an iOS user, you can go for Santa’s Bag which is a popular app that allows you to easily budget and plan for your holiday using its attractive and colorful interface. You can take care of everything you have on the list. The app requires you to give your total budget and the amount to be designated to each individual, and it will update all your budgets automatically when you’ll tell the app how much money you’ve spent. You can enter just about everything into the app from different gift ideas to the items that have been purchased or even wrapped.
Similarly, if you are using an Android device, you can rely on another similar solution that goes by the name ‘Christmas Gift List’. The app lets you track your shopping, maintain a per person and overall budget, and archive lists allowing yourself to be able to take a look back whenever you want.
- Prioritize Shopping
Once you have set up your budget and have started shopping according to the list you have created, you’d see some gifts might be more particular than the others. Your daughter may have a particular new smartphone in her plans, while your wife may want to hop for the latest cashmere sweater – plus, she’d want it in a color that is really hard to find. So, if you have gifts on the list that usually tend to go out of stock pretty quickly, you should prepare your priority list and add those to the top of it so that you’re never late. It’s a fact that you might get a better deal if you wait until Cyber Monday or Thanksgiving week, but you also need to ensure that you buy it before it runs out of stock. So, note down the stuff on your shopping list which needs some early attention and buy it first.
- Have Subscription Of Different Stores And The Coupon Sites
Yes, it’s the perfect time to get yourself on email list of all popular coupon sites and stores where you’ll be shopping for the most part. And, if you do that, you will surely be the first to find out when there are any days they’re offering free shipping or when there are flash sales. To keep track of any exclusive promotions and sales, it is also advised to follow social media accounts of your favorite retailers as they normally advertise there.
It is also a good idea to subscribe to cash back and coupon websites and also register for alerts. You’ll soon notice that all amazing deals are directly getting into your inbox.
That’s, probably, all for now. Yes, there can be many more ways to make your Holiday shopping spree more satisfying than ever, but if you can just start up with these five ideas listed above, you’ll be on the right track to getting more organized and sticking to your shopping budget. So, stock up on discounted items and surprise your loved ones with some amazing gifts and celebrations this holiday season. They’re surely going to love it!