HOW TO PLAN FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFTS
It is now almost mid-November and we all need to get a head start on our Christmas shopping. I am usually one of those people who leave everything until the last minute. But I am trying (emphasis on the word ‘trying’) to be good and make a plan of what I will get and for whom this year.
Making a plan sounds simple but for others it may be hard. This is why I will share with you how I plan for my Christmas shopping in this post.
Ok so I guess some of you might be rolling their eyes right now, saying it is too early or for some it might be very late! But for us who are a bit slow on the planning and shopping, we should at least make a plan to help us out when the time comes to actually buy the gifts.
Follow these three simple steps and you will have a plan in no time!
PLANNING FOR THE GIFTS
STEP ONE: WRITE A LIST OR TWO
- Write a list of the people you will buy a gift for this year and next to each person’s name write a few words about their hobbies, interests or needs
a) Mum; relax, always looks good, likes fashion and beauty
b) Dad; needs to be pampered, can’t find his tools, missing some tools
- Then write a list of the potential gifts that will suit each person on your list.
a)MUM; Candle, Gift Voucher for massage, Makeup set, Perfume.
b)DAD; Aftershave, Tool set, Tool organizer.
And so on!
STEP TWO: SET YOUR BUDGET
- Once you set your total budget or budget per person this will be easier for you to look around for the items you want to buy.
I prefer a total budget as it allows me to spend more or less according to each person. So I may spend let’s say €50 on one person but then €40 or €60 on others. As long as I keep to my total I am great!
- Once you have set your budget, you can now research the cost of the items you have on your list. Compare these results to the budget you have set yourself. If you are within budget GREAT! If not, well then we have some work to do.
I usually go to online stores to see the prices and then go out for shopping at the stores. Whatever cannot be purchased at the store it will definitely be bought online. This is why it is also very important to plan your gifts ahead of time.
Last year I was cutting it very close to Christmas day for a package I ordered online and so I bought 2 smaller gifts for that person. I chose one gift that would arrive in a week and the other one would be most likely after Christmas. As it turned out I was right! One came on Christmas Eve and the other just before New Year’s Eve!
This was partially why I set out to make a plan this year. The other reason was that some things were sold out by the time I decided to buy them!
STEP THREE: IF YOU ARE OVER YOUR BUDGET LIMIT
If the costs of your list of products is higher than the budget you have set you have two options:
You stick to your budget and you either find somewhere else to buy the product or you change the item you chose for some of the people.
Buying the same gift but a different shop or brand does not necessarily mean to go cheap. You do not have to compromise on the type of gift you will buy, but just choose something within your budget. For instance if you wanted to buy a specific candle with a specific scent or maybe a specific brand, try to find a similar candle for a cheaper price.
So let’s say you wanted to buy a candle from JO MALONE which cost around $200, you could buy a handmade candle on ETSY for around $50. This way you buy something they like but keeping it within your budget. You may even introduce them to a new brand that they will love.
Choose to go over budget if it really means that much to you. What I mean is; if you feel like it is worth buying that specific gift over your budget because it is your wife’s gift or because you feel like spoiling that special someone or because it is ok with you to go over your limit, then by all means, go over the budget. Whatever the reason if you are ok with going over then go over!
Another reason to go over is that it is a specific gift that you will not find cheaper or you know that person the gift is meant for really needs this. As I mentioned above, whatever the reason it is totally up to you if you want to go over budget! Most importantly the great thing is that by starting your plan so early on you can actually save up that extra amount that will take you over budget, to cover the amount you need.
- Keep your eyes and ears open as some people leave subtle hints as to what they want for gifts.
- Try noticing things you usually do not see. You may be surprised to see that your spouse may need a new pair of sunglasses or your friend is almost finishing the book they are reading and has wanted to buy a new one.
- If you do buy the gifts from now make sure to store them somewhere they will not find them. Maybe even at your parents’ house or a friend’s house, even the garage would be a great idea.
- Keep track of the cost of the gifts you have purchased so far to make sure you do not go over you budget.
- Make sure to ask for a exchange certificate or whatever the store gives for returns. Confirm their return policy too.
- Make sure to have some fun while shopping!
Now that you have a plan ready, I hope it will make it easier to get your shopping done on time.
For any other help please send me a message, comment below or even email me and I will be happy to assist with anything you like.