03 November 2011

Saving While Spending

Christmas is a season most people are looking forward to. It is a time when family and friends get together to enjoy each others' companies and make more memories to cherish. It is also a time to show our appreciation by giving presents. With all these merry-making and gift-giving, it isn't a wonder that there would be a significant dent on our wallets or credit cards. Wouldn't it be great if we could find ways to save money while shelling out for the season's expenses?

Creating a budget for the presents that will be bought and separating it from the household expenses is one way to start saving money. Other tips that I picked up here and there include:

  • Plan your gifts. Making a list of people and ideas on what to give them would be helpful in knowing what to look for when you scour bazaars and sales.
  • Take advantage of upcoming sales. Remember to bring your list with you so you won't end up buying what you don't need.
  • Take advantage of the Internet and online shops. When you don't want to brave a sea of people when shopping, doing so in the comforts of your home would be better. You can save on gas and spend it on the shipping costs instead.
  • If it's possible, get all or most of what you need from your trusted shop so you'll get more items and just pay for a one time delivery charge. Paying different shipping fees for just one or a few items from different stores can be taxing financially.
  • Prizes you won which you haven't used and are in tip-top shape could make great gifts too. I know of a family with kids who attend children's parties and who participate eagerly in games to get as many prizes as they could, and tada! They have a trove of children's gifts for occasions like birthday or Christmas.
  • Set aside a day to shop for your gift(s) to yourself. That way, it will be more focused and you won't suddenly want what you're going to give your BFF.
  • This isn't related to gifts, but, I like the idea of soliciting your family or even friends (close ones, of course!) for everyday useful stuff that they have in abundance, for example, giveaway pens or umbrellas. I know that, for some reason, my parents have a lot of bath towels so when I ran out, I know who to run to. Heehee!
I just hope I get to follow my own advice on saving. Ha ha! How about you? What things do you do to save while spending?
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