6 Easy Hacks to Take the Stress Out of Your Christmas Shopping
Love it or hate it, Christmas is rapidly approaching. Before you know it, you’ll be agonising over what presents to buy and how you’ll get all your shopping done before the big day. To minimise stress, work to a plan and use budgeting hacks to see your money go further. Start now so you’ll have plenty of time to get it done on time.
1. Start with an “everything-Christmas list”
An “everything-Christmas list” lists every item you need to celebrate the festive season, from gifts and decorations for your home to food and extras for gatherings. Consider the following categories and list everything you need to have under each category.
- Decorations – Colourful string lights, Christmas tree, stockings, ribbons, and Christmas balls might be some of the decorations you’ll be using to decorate your house and establish the right ambiance for your Christmas gatherings.
- Gifts – Presents are probably the most obvious shopping category for Christmas. Break this down further to presents for family, friends, and colleagues so you can identify what you’re buying for everyone. Choosing the right gift can be difficult, however there are a lot of helpful online resources that list out great gift ideas for children, through to teenagers and adults. Also, don’t forget to include cards and wrapping paper. Having easy-to-forget items like wrapping paper and sticky tape on hand can be a big stress saver when you’re busy wrapping your presents.
- Gatherings and traditions – Think about any traditions or special gatherings you’ll be attending and what you’ll need to have for those. If you have a themed party every year, note down your costume as an item.
- Cooking – Outline everything you’ll be cooking during the Christmas period, whether it’s a buffet lunch or a potluck-style gathering for a work party. If you’re having everything catered during Christmas, make a note of it as well so you can budget for it.
- Travel – If you’ll be travelling a lot to parties and gatherings, list this expense so you can budget for airfares and petrol.
A list helps you plan your shopping day(s) and make sure you get everything you need. It can also help you avoid overspending.
2. Set and adjust your budget
Make a note of how much each item will cost and tally up your budget for an estimate of your total expenses. Make sure you’ll have enough money for everything. If you don’t, explore other gift options or start scouring for bargains. You can also consider options such as layby for bigger items you can’t pay for outright.
3. Save more and look online
Checking out prices online before you shop is a great way to make sure you’re saving as much as you can.
- Compare and sign up – Compare prices online, and sign up for newsletters so you’re kept up to date of specials. This way, you can grab a bargain before it sells out.
- Price-match offers – Don’t forget to take advantage of price-match offers between retailers.
- Coupons – Look for coupons and coupon codes online before you buy.
- Membership points – If you have membership points with a reward program or retailer, don’t forget to use them and save more.
- Click and collect – Some retailers offer click and collect, which saves you from the dreaded long lines at the counter during peak shopping season. Pay for your item online, and pick it up in store to save time. Click and collect is also an effective way to avoid temptations and spending more than you need to.
4. List your shopping destinations
Once you have your items and budgets finalised, list your shopping destinations so you can start thinking about the logistics of your shopping day(s). Picking a one-stop-shop destination like Marketplace Gungahlin means you can minimise travel and stress, as you’ll have everything you need in the one place.
If you’re going shopping at more than one destination, work out what you’ll be getting at each place and use separate shopping lists to avoid confusion.
5. Set a time for shopping
Consider when you’ll be shopping. If you love crowded stores and noisy shopping centres, go on the weekend. If you’ll do anything to avoid the long queues and masses, free up a weekday well ahead of the Christmas shopping period to hit the stores.
6. Tips for shopping day
Estimate how much time you’ll need in each place and try to keep to your time limit so you’re not tempted to browse and buy more than you need. Another good tip to keep in mind is to keep to only your shopping locations and avoid visiting other shops where you might be likely to buy on impulse.
Enjoy a stress-free Christmas
Christmas shopping can feel daunting if you’re not prepared, but a little planning is probably all you need to get organised and avoid impulse shopping. Work out a shopping plan with a budget, list of items, and shopping-day route, and you’ll end up with everything you need minus the stress and overspending.
Marketplace Gungahlin is your one-stop destination for fashion, accessories, homewares, gifts, and everyday needs, making it the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping. Find out more about our stores at our website or contact us for more information.