The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. You get to stuff your face with decadent treats, spend time with family, enjoy festive winter activities, and give and receive some pretty fantastic gifts.
That being said, the holidays can also be the most expensive time of the year for most of us. So, in order for you to give the gift of giving without going into debt, here are 10 tips to make holiday shopping easier on your mind, body and wallet.
Make a plan
Before you get to the mall, make a list of stores you need to go to and stick to that list. While the smell of soaps or chocolate samples might be tempting, stay on course and go only where you need to go.
Track each swipe
Track each purchase you make so that you don’t have any surprises when you get your credit card bill. This will also help you to remember who you can check off your gift list, so that you don’t show up somewhere empty handed or forget about a gift you’ve hidden in your closet.
Redeem credit card loyalty points
This will help you stay within your budget and makes buying gifts way easier. It’ll also give you more time to spend with loved ones, watching movies, and drinking hot cocoa. The TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite* card doesn’t only let you redeem points on merchandise but travel too. So how about New Years in Hawaii?
Find busy malls stressful? You’re not alone. A TD survey found that more than 72% of Canadians do some of their holiday shopping online. So, instead of breaking a sweat swerving in and out of other shoppers, while in a bulky coat, carrying three shopping bags (sounds horrible right?); why not shop for everything you need, in your PJs, at home, online?
Search for bargains
Don’t mind those crowded malls? In that case take advantage of holiday sales. Shop around in stores and online to find the best deals for the gifts you want. FYI: you’ll save even more shopping in stores. 37% of Canadians surveyed by TD say they spent more and made more impulse purchases online.
Wear comfy shoes
Running around malls can be tiresome so make sure you wear shoes that you can walk in for ages. You might also want to make sure you’ve found out where the closest coffee shops are so that you can have a much-needed pit-stop. A good breakfast won’t go amiss either, after all, no one likes a hangry shopper.
Sign up for savings
Lots of stores have discounts, perks and special pricing for loyalty members. Getting your hands on some of these discounts is as simple as filling in your email address or even spelling out your name. Definitely worth the extra 15% off those seasonal spends.
Buying internationally can have some huge disadvantages, especially on your wallet. Shopping online and buying something overseas will come with the extra costs of shipping, duty taxes, exchange rate, and all manner of other costs you’ll have to factor in. So, that $50.00 bracelet might very quickly end up being a $150.00 bracelet
Spend the minimum and save on shipping
That being said, many stores offer reduced, even free shipping on orders costing a minimum dollar amount. Think about how many people you can cross off your list with one of these retailers and get them what you want, with out all the extra fees.
Remember to pick up extra holiday cards, not only to go with your gifts, but also to have on hand. By doing so, you’ll always be prepared and can turn any bottle of wine into a hostess gift.