There are some people who don’t need to think about money and how much they spend during the holidays.
I am not those people – most of us aren’t actually. According to new research released by Mobilicity, Canada’s smart mobile phone carrier, 58 per cent of Canadians say they spend more than they should during the holidays and a further 59 per cent find themselves making impulse purchases.
So with that in mind, I have some suggestions on how you can save money while shopping during the holiday season.
- Budget – First thing, you need to come up with a budget of the maximum amount you’re willing to spend during the holidays. The maximum needs to be something realistic, something you can afford and something that won’t give your spouse a heart attack.
- Lists - Lists are your friend. First, make a list of every person you need to buy for, and then attach a monetary amount to each person as the maximum you’ll spend on that person. Hopefully when you add that all up, it will equal your budget. That’s math – see, you did need it after high school, after all.
- Scan the weekly ads and sign up for emails to the stores you frequent – Yup, the holidays are that time of year where you are inundated with junk mail until your eyeballs bleed. Thankfully, it sometimes pays off if you’re vigilant and paying attention to sales. Why pay more for something when you can pay less?
- Keep your receipts – Your receipts come in handy for many reasons, but the best one I know of are price adjustments. Almost every store out there gives price adjustments but almost every store out there never actually tells you that. So when you make a purchase, ask them how their price adjustments work and keep track. You can often get money back from your purchases because they’ve gone on sale in the allotted time frame. That’s “free” money baby – and as my very Greek dad says in his very thick Greek accent, “If you see money in the street, you no pick it up?” The man has a point.
- Pick names – If you come from a large family like I do (think The Brady Bunch on steroids), then you should consider picking names or buying just for the kiddies. It will save you a ton.
- Homemade gifts – For the Marthas out there, homemade gifts are always lovely and considerate, and cost effective. I’m no Martha, sadly.
- It’s The Thought That Counts – This is my husband’s favorite saying, and yes in certain circumstances, this is a very true and valued sentiment. And when it makes sense to go there, do so. But dearest husband, this sentiment does not apply to you so don’t even try it. Say it with handbags. And diamonds. And handbags filled with diamonds.
- Pay with cash – This is a big one and you may need to plan and save for it, but it is so worth it. Paying with cash guarantees none of that holiday shopping hangover when you finally get your credit card statements after the new year. If you’re using your credit cards and paying them off right away, good on you. But more than likely, I’m going to find you in the fetal position, mumbling to yourself about interest rates in the corner. Don’t give yourself long-term pain for short term gain – it is so not worth it.
Content courtesy of Mobilicity, Canada’s smart mobile carrier. Find out how to avoid a holiday shopping hangover and reduce your monthly spending all year round with unlimited data, talk and text, without contracts and hidden fees at Mobilicity.ca. Now that’s smart!
*This post was sponsored but my words are my own.*