Posted on Tuesday 21 December 2021
We all want to be that person who has their Christmas presents wrapped and packed away before November, but let’s face it: the holidays are hectic, and that type of preparation takes true next-level planning. December is a blur, and once the countdown to Christmas starts getting closer, it’s all too easy to panic-buy and overspend. After all, you don't want make it a habit of getting too many e transfer payday loans, just to bail yourself out every year.
Christmas shopping is stressful enough without draining your budget – which is why we’ve put together a list of our favorite Christmas shopping hacks for 2021. Ready to wrap up your Christmas shopping? Don’t check out before taking a look at our top 5 shopping hacks below!
Setting a budget is important for every month of the year, but especially in December. It’s so easy to overspend during the holidays – not just on presents, but on all of the extras that come along with family time and holiday parties (there’s certainly no shortage of drinks and food during the holiday season). And when you’re swiping your card for one purchase after the next, you can easily find yourself spending much more than you planned for.
Here’s some cold, hard data about budgeting: in 2020, the average Canadian spent nearly $1,300 on Christmas shopping. That’s the third highest spending average in the world! While the effects of the pandemic will likely cause many Canadians to tighten their purse strings, there’s no doubt that you’re much more likely to overspend during December.
One way to ward off overspending is to create a budget for Christmas shopping. Start by taking stock of where your personal finances are this month. How much money do you have coming in? How much of your income will need to go to rent, necessities like groceries and utilities, and holiday extras like travel expenses? Maybe you took out a bunch of faxless payday loans? Just make sure it's all accounted for.
Think about how much you spent last year, how much you’ve been able to save this year, what you’ll likely need to spend this year, where you can cut back if needed, and plan accordingly. Once you’ve set your budget, keep yourself accountable to sticking to it – no matter how tempting it is to splurge. And if you’re hosting a holiday party this year, it’s worth brushing up on how to host a holiday party on a budget.
When it comes to finding tricks to spend wisely, making a list is – well, it’s at the top of the list! Write down all of the people that you have to buy presents for, and make sure it’s accessible at all times. Take the old-fashioned route with a pencil and paper, or get creative and put together a spreadsheet!
We recommend creating a list on your smartphone – or at least making sure that your list is accessible via smartphone, whether it’s through email or cloud storage. This is a great way to ensure you’re not stuck scrambling for your list when you get a gift idea (and it can also be a place to cross people off once they’ve been fully shopped for).
To really maximize your efficiency, add details like clothing sizes, shoe sizes, favorite colors, and even favorite movie or cartoon characters. This will help you stay organized and focused – and with any luck, you’ll save your Christmas budget by avoiding the accidental double-gift purchase.
If you have a credit card or store card that lets you earn reward points, now is the time to cash in! You can redeem your rewards points for gift cards, and turn those gift cards into Christmas presents. It’s easy and doesn’t cost any additional money, which makes rewards points a great shopping hack for anyone who is Christmas shopping on a budget.
Alternatively, you can use rewards points to boost your Christmas shopping budget by applying them as a credit toward purchases. It’s a win-win with rewards points, no matter how you use them.
Don’t have a rewards-based credit card or store card? No problem! Download a shopping extension like Rakuten to automatically earn cash back on tons of Christmas shopping purchases. Hey, if you’re buying something online, there’s no harm in earning a little bit of extra cash back.
This feels like a no-brainer, but it’s worth calling out. Look for free shipping deals whenever possible – in fact, if you can swing it with delivery times, don’t settle for anything less than free shipping for your Christmas shopping. Shipping fees can take up a huge chunk of your budget, which means you have less money to spend on gifts (and not much to show for it).
As the days to Christmas inch closer and closer, online retailers will get into heavy competition with each other to offer the best shipping rates and discounts. Shop around and look for a retailer that offers free shipping – although it takes a little extra time to comparison shop, the payoff of a more flexible budget is totally worth it.
Sure, you could search for deals by comparison shopping or try your luck copying and pasting coupon codes you’ve found online – or you could sit back, fill up your shopping cart, and let a browser extension do it for you.
If you love shopping online and you aren’t using a browser extension, you’re spending more money than you have to! Browser extensions are the ultimate Christmas shopping hack: they’re free to use and they do all of the hard work of finding coupon codes without you having to lift a finger.
Extensions like Honey will scour the internet for any available coupons and automatically apply them to your online cart. Whether it’s a coupon for free shipping, expedited shipping, or a percentage off, a browser extension can pay off big-time when it comes to Christmas shopping (or any shopping, for that matter)!
Don’t let Christmas shopping overwhelm you or your wallet – with a little bit of time and guidance, anyone can become a master shopper! Use these Christmas shopping hacks to wrap up your shopping list, show your loved ones how much they are appreciated, and most importantly, to keep your personal finances running strong throughout the new year.