Buying presents should be a fun experience, not a stressful, time-consuming chore that makes you regret spending choices. Save time and money this holiday season by planning your gift list in advance. Organizing your list in advance allows you to successfully account for everyone on your list while having the ability to be creative and thoughtful when choosing gifts. In return for your advanced planning, expect endless smiles and jumps for joy from your recipients, and some extra time and money for yourself.
To save money during the holiday season, write down your budget and with whom you will be sharing gifts. Determining your list and budget ahead of time stops you from overindulging and splurging. If you are on a tight budget and buying for a family, a couple, or siblings, choose a joint gift for the adults and one for the children. A best-selling book for the adults and a game all the children can play are always great go-to gifts. If you have more time than money, a homemade edible is a thoughtful, cost-effective gift that everyone enjoys and appreciates.
To save time, bucket gifts into specific stores and websites to avoid retracing your steps. Put Cyber Monday on your calendar instead of Black Friday to skip the busiest and most competitive shopping day of the year, yet still benefit from many of the same great in-store deals. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the free shipping deals many websites offer as an incentive to purchase early and online.
- Make a list. Write down all the friends, coworkers, and family members you intend to give a gift. Beside each name, place a budget and gift ideas. Research the ideas and create an Excel spreadsheet with your final list.
- Create a strategy. Group together by store the gifts you intend to purchase. Choose stores that either carry many of the items on your list or are in close proximity to one another. Check store hours and create a schedule for purchasing.
- Execute. Set aside one day for online and in-store shopping and another for making gifts. As you purchase or make items, check them off the list. Be sure to have your list handy at all times!