We’re in the midst of another sweltering summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for you to start your holiday shopping! Wouldn’t it be great to get a head start on your gift buying now rather than wait until the last minute to do it?
While you’re sitting at the beach enjoying a frosty-cold beverage, why not make a list of who’s been naughty and nice so far this year (you can always change it later), then come up with a budget. If you’ve already started saving for gifts, kudos to you! If you haven’t, you still have plenty of time to set aside some money from each of your paychecks to build up a holiday fund.
Here are some more cool ideas to get ahead of the holiday shopping rush:
Start shopping early. As in right now! You don’t have to wait until November or December to find deals. They’re out there if you know what you’re looking for. And one major plus side of buying early is less stress and anxiety when the holidays roll around. Just imagine how wonderful it would feel to be able to sit back and actually enjoy the holidays rather than having to rush around to get all of your holiday shopping done?
Getting an early jump on things is especially helpful if you’re more of an online shopper. For one, you don’t have to worry about items selling out right from under your nose. And you have more time to do comparison shopping among sites. But a word of caution – only deal with sites that are reputable and have strong security systems in place for shoppers. Cyber thieves are lurking in the shadows every day of the year, so always be cautious when making an online transaction. And if a cyber deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Another thought – if you spread out your shopping over several months rather than compress it into a few weeks, you’ll stand a better chance of not going into debt buying gifts, since you can pace yourself money-wise.
If you’re into DIY gifts, now’s the time to get started. Not everything has to be store-bought to be appreciated. If you put some time and thought into a do-it-yourself present, the recipient is going to take notice. And keep in mind that the quality of your DIY gift projects will likely be a lot better if you start working on them early rather than slapping them together at the last minute.
Shop with cash (or a debit card tied to existing funds) instead of credit if possible. You’re much less likely to overspend if you only have a finite amount of cash with which to buy gifts.
Look for part-time work to help supplement your holiday fund. It won’t be long before businesses start putting up “Help Wanted” signs to bolster their holiday work force. If there’s a particular shop or store you’d like to work for, keep an eye out for one of those signs. Or better yet, go in and ask when they think they will start hiring for the holidays. This will give you a big jump on the competition!