Whether you’re a holiday shopping procrastinator extraordinaire or the type who buys gifts months in advance, there’s always — without fail — a last minute mad dash to round off holiday shopping lists. No matter who’s on your list this year, how much you want to buy or how long you procrastinate, we urge you to get organized. Organization leads to thoughtful gifts, happy recipients and, ultimately, a saner you.
Gather Pertinent Information
Get information from your giftees that goes beyond a basic wish list. For example, make sure you know clothing sizes, color preferences, style, interests, etc. Knowing such information helps you get creative when buying. A wish list is helpful, of course, buy holiday shopping is more fun for both parties when you get to color outside the lines.
Brain Storm and Research Gifts
Once you have all the information you need, take an hour or two to brain storm potential gifts for each person on your holiday shopping list. Do your research on the items, noting prices and where to buy. Creating this list on your computer is more efficient since you’ll be able to edit and add information as you go.
Plan at Least Two Shopping Trips
Trying to buy all your holiday gifts at once leads to headaches and frustration. It’s just not possible to get everything all in one trip, so don’t put that much pressure on yourself. Plan at least two shopping trips, though preferably three. Hit as many stores as you can on the first day (both virtual and brick/mortar) and then organize and assess all the gifts once they’ve arrived. Plan your second trip and repeat. The third (and hopefully final) trip should take place no less than a week before you exchange gifts and should serve as a final “last minute” excursion.
Use Holiday Shopping Apps
It’s not called a smart phone for nothing. Take advantage of your know-it-all phone this season by utilizing some of the best shopping apps out there. For example, the free Slice app automatically tracks any holiday gifts purchased online (or shipped out), keeps all your e-receipts in one place and monitors your spending. Other holiday shopping apps worth checking out include mGifts ($2.99) and The Christmas List ($0.99).
Track Your Spending
If you don’t use a holiday shopping app to keep track of your spending, at least keep track elsewhere. Set a budget for each person on your list and keep track of every purchase. Spending even amounts on family members, children and others will ensure no hurt feelings when all is said and done. You can keep track with a computer document, by storing receipts or by writing purchases down with good old fashioned pen and paper.
By Wendy Rose Gould
Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 12:00 AM
Opinions , Saving Tips , SHOPPING , Trends |