This should come as no surprise...but I absolutely love shopping. Few things are as exciting as great deals and bonding time. Which is why my mom and I always go shopping together. Whether we are travelling or just spend an afternoon at a nearby mall, it is one of our favourite past times. Unfortunately for me? Money is tight. Since I got married last summer, most of my money has gone to rent, food, and other necessities. (Boy do I miss the days of spending my paychecks on trips to the mall!) Budgeting has become a part of my every day reality.
No wonder I am a little anxious about an upcoming shopping trip. Don't get me wrong. I am excited. Eager. Giddy. My mom and I are taking a bus trip to Erie, Pennsylvania to do some pre-holiday shopping. The bus tour will take us to a bunch of outlet malls and stores that aren't found in Canada. (Like Target, Kohls, and Ulta.) As much as I am looking forward to this trip....I need to stick to a strict budget. Which will certainly not be easy.
That leads me to today's post. These tips will help you (and me!) stay on track this holiday season.
- Come Up With a Detailed Budget. Having a holiday shopping budget in place is great. Except that it can be super easy to get off track. The best way to avoid that is to make your budget as detailed as possible. Decide how much you will spend on Christmas gifts for each person in your life. Then how much you will spend on decorations. Holiday dinners. Extras. The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to stick to your budget.
- Shop In Unexpected Places. Most of us go to the same stores over and over again. There is nothing wrong with that....but you are less likely to find spectacular bargains. So be open to shopping in places you might not think to. Like discounts stores or dollar stores. The latter is where I found a Christmas gift for my brother for a mere $3. (It is still being sold at Hallmark for $20.) Try looking around, heading into different stores, and venturing outside of the mall.
- Pick Up Useful DIY Items. Super strapped for cash this year? That's okay. Just pick up items that will help you create some awesome DIY gifts. There are a ton of great ideas online. A few to get you started include: a spa in a jar (fill up a mason jar with a nail file, face mask, and other at home spa day essentials), decorated photo frames, and homemade cookies.
- Know Exactly What You Need To Buy. It helps to have a list. Being organized makes it that much easier to focus on what you need. The next time you go holiday shopping? Have a list of everything you need to buy and who you need to shop for. For example, Mom - one large item and two small items. Budget - $75. Know what you need. This will help you avoid overspending or picking up unnecessary items.
Need a little shopping inspiration? My latest YouTube video is all about my most repurchased makeup items....take a look!
How will you stay on budget this season? Have you done any shopping lately?