It’s painstakingly hard to keep your cash in your pocket and in the bank when Christmas shoppers around you are carrying paper bags of expensive, well-known brands. It’s close to impossible to resist the maddening festive ambiance wherever you go, and even more impossible not to fall for the spell of Christmas we’ve grown to love.
Here are top 7 tips to help you save more than you spend this season of merrymaking:
Tip No. 1: Be realistic about how much you have. Before spending on your wants or spending for others, make sure you have enough left for your needs. When you do have enough for your needs, make sure that you save any excess amount or a portion thereof deposited in the bank as savings. Don’t waste the opportunity to save a significant amount of cash from your bonus. If you honestly think there’s a little excess you can spare then, that’s the only time you should spend on Christmas wants.
Tip No. 2: Find the best deals online and in-store. If you’re doing a late holiday shopping spree anyways, you’d might as well wait really late like the week of the 25th to do your Christmas shopping. Chances are, you’ll find the best bulk discounts, lowest offers and even get a gift or coupon for your purchases. Merchants don’t like keeping excess items in their stock so they will move it before the holiday madness ends.
Tip No. 3: Tame your appetite. Whether it’s appetite for expensive food, costly gadgets, or expensive personal stuff, you have to choose which craving you’ll give in to. Don’t fulfil all your wants at the same time or you will certainly break the bank or pile up unnecessary instalments in your credit card.
Tip No. 4: Spend cold cash. Do your shopping the more old fashioned way — no, not barter, silly! Withdraw your shopping budget from the bank or ATM and pay all your purchases in cash. Make sure to use a different purse to keep your shopping budget. Leave your credit card at home. It just feels different when you can touch and see the money that you’re spending rather than charging to your credit or debit cards.
Tip No. 5: Shop styled like a star. Be fashionable when you shop but keep it comfy. This is a strategy that works to have salespeople provide you with prompt assistance because you’re buying but more importantly because your outfit will not make you feel like you’re deprived. When you look less than your best self, you’re prone to want more to make up for your ‘losyang na’ appeal. Go ahead and put on your makeup but make sure to wear shoes that are made for walking.
Tip No. 6: Know exactly what you’re getting. When you’re making up a list of must-buys in your head while you’re in the mall, that’s when the risk of overspending becomes so real that you are certainly going for another trip to the ATM. Compare prices but don’t get anything that won’t tick off any item from your shopping list.
Tip No. 7: Shop alone. You don’t need to wine and dine a friend cum consultant to help you complete your Christmas shopping. If any, the back and forth asking if, “okay ba ‘to?” will only eat up too much of your precious time — one asset you don’t exactly have now that you’re rushing.
Don’t be afraid to get into the Holiday spirit but, be very afraid of spending beyond your means.