Whether you want to believe it or not, Thanksgiving and then Christmas are right around the corner. While we all want to give the perfect gift and feed our families during these holidays, we don’t always have a plan for how to budget these costs.
When we think of new iphones and gaming consoles, and vacations and concerts, and any other great ideas for gifts this season, in order to survive till January, we should also think of how were going to pay for those things. So here is a list of 5 ways to help you conquer these budget challenges:
1. Take advantage of cash back.
When you go to the store to buy groceries or you’re at Target filling up on the everyday supplies you might need, use the cash back system they have. Every trip to the store, take $10 or $20 out of your account and put it literally under your mattress (or in a sock drawer, or somewhere out of sight). Then when it comes time to actually buy gifts only use that money, and when you run out, you run out.
2. Make a plan.
It can be really fun to just go into a store and look around and start browsing for things to buy for your friends or family. But if you go into a store with an item already in mind that you know you can afford, you will most likely be able to buy all the presents you want to. If you plan ahead and figure out who needs/wants what before you go into stores, you can spend the right amount of money for your budget.
3. Shop online and find the best price.
There are many places online that could have the same item or even a very similar item, and once you’ve figured out the best toy to get your uncle’s cousin’s daughter, go online to find the best place to buy it. Amazon and Jet are good broad based retailers, but Ebay and Craigslist can be good in a pinch. Even looking on Target or Walmart’s website can be helpful, but Google shopping helps line everything up as well.
4. Start buying early.
The sooner you start the better. It might seem weird to go shopping before Thanksgiving, but there are probably good deals and even better selection right now than there will be after. It also helps to spread out the costs of buying things over multiple pay checks instead of dumping everything into one week.
5. Go in on gifts with others.
Once you realize that you can’t afford to buy the perfect gift for someone, you should ask around to see if friends or family would be willing to buy a part of it with you. If two, three, or even more people join in on the purchase, you could buy something collectively that would be totally out of the budget just for you.
Hopefully these tips help you save money and save your wallet when you’re zooming around during black Friday and beyond. And always remember, safety first.