16 Dec 2013


By Akinwale Akinyoade,
Monday, December 16, 2013

The Christmas season is fast approaching once again and everyone is preparing for the festive period. Many gifts to give and receive, so many decorations and preparations to be done and a lot of buying to be done. Why waste money unnecessarily when you can follow these simple ten Christmas shopping tips and you will be guaranteed that you will save money?

Plan Early: Making plans for Christmas can never be too early and you can start making yours immediately we hit the Ember months to avoid rushing. Christmas shopping is never too early as it helps you to budget accordingly.
Allocate budgets to each item you want to buy, it helps to curb excesses and also start saving now so that you won’t be weighed down by the expenses when Christmas is finally here.  

Make a Shopping List: Many people find the idea of making a shopping list boring but it has been proven time and again that you tend to save more when you actually plan your shopping. Making a list helps you to avoid impulse shopping and you are sure not to also forget anything that you need.  Another plus to making a shopping list is that it helps keep you organized and your shopping can be done easier.

Shop Early: Just as it is good to make your Christmas plans early, another good tip that helps you to save money is to do your shopping early. Buy all the things you need before the Christmas holidays hit us as things tend to be a lot cheaper than when the festive period is here. You will make better bargains and get good deals during the normal seasons than when Christmas is just around the corner and prices have been spiked up. Shopping early also reduces the stress of overcrowding during the Christmas period.

Shop Around: Visit as many shops and stores as possible when doing your shopping, don’t limit yourself to a particular place. The more you shop around, the better your chances of getting good deals for your purchases and also compare prices. Don’t be in a hurry to complete your shopping, take your time so that you can get your money’s worth. Why pay more for something when you can get it cheaper somewhere else?

Improvise Where You Can: Improvisation in this case can be said to be the mother of necessity, make do with what you have in some cases. Get out old decorations that can still be jazzed up and use them. Make what you can and don’t buy unnecessary things when there are other items that can serve the same purpose, it helps you reduce your cash spending and you have more money to yourself.

Know Your Budget: You don’t have to buy the most expensive gifts in the world to give people for Christmas before you feel good with yourself. Know your budget and stick to it, the biggest Christmas tree doesn’t have to be bought if you can’t afford it comfortably. Be practical in your buying and keep low on the excesses. Don’t forget that Christmas will roll by and the bills will come in January so you can avoid the January moans about being low on cash when you spend wisely during the Christmas period. Give sensible gift items and set the amount you are willing to spend on each thing you want to buy.

Give Couple/Group Gifts: When buying gifts for married people, it is wiser to buy couple gifts rather than spend more money on different gift items for them. If you insist on going ahead to buy them different items, estimate the cost of the two to total up to what you would have bought them if you were buying them a couple’s gift. Gifts aren’t natural entitlements but rather an offering of love. It is also advisable to give group gifts when in a large gathering of people, for example you would save more when you team up with other employees to buy something for the boss.

Buy Safe and Be Safe: In your bid to minimize cost and save more on your shopping, you may be tempted by some seemingly good deals but it is advisable to buy safely. Don’t buy products that the source is unknown and don’t do business with unauthorized dealers of products. Don’t be tempted by the prices as the stress of buying things from unsecured or unsafe people or places is not going to be worth it in the long run.     

Shop with Someone: Ever heard that two heads are better than one? When going Christmas shopping, it won’t be bad if you have someone accompany you on the trip. When it is not just you, you can have someone else’s opinion about things that you want to buy and you can also haggle prices better as the person offers advices and opinions about the items being thought and prices.

Don’t Indulge Yourself: When doing your Christmas shopping there is always that tendency to want to indulge yourself and buy yourself something ridiculous. Make a promise to yourself not to buy anything you don’t really need to yourself and make your gift shopping about others. Always keep in mind that the money used in purchasing that expensive thing can be channeled into other good use.

Following these ten easy tips will help you save a lot of cash and avoid unnecessary spending. Be wise in your spending and don’t waste money buying extravagant things.       

Akinwale Akinyoade is National Diploma holder in Mass Communication from Yaba College of Technology and currently majors in English at the University of Lagos. He loves reading, writing and networking. Follow @gidigenius

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