Saturday, August 09, 2008

How To Manage Your Gift Budget: 3 Easy Tips

Common problem: Remember last year's last minute scramble to get all your Christmas gifts on Dec 23rd? Plus the insanely insurmountable credit card balance in January and February?
Here are 3 easy tips for you:
1. Plan & Shop Early
It's much easier to shop for gifts when you are not on a time crunch.
Start a list of all the people you plan to give gifts to this Christmas.
Next to each name, write down a couple ideas that you have for what they might want: a Le Creuset dutch oven, a spa-robe, an iPhone, a photo book, a bike or a new PC.
Once you have the list, you can cluster together people who like similar things. This way you can get a rough idea on quantity. For example, Uncle Ben and Colleague Jane are both chefs at home. So when you discover an awesome deal on a new cookbook you can quickly get 2 copies.
2. Summer Sales
At the end of summer, everything goes on sale. Pick up that journal, fragrance set, designer tie, computer monitor now to save money and also get something that looks fresh and different from all the red and green wintry themes during the holiday season. 
3. Spread the Balance
Divide and conquer is key to keeping the credit card balance manageable. Catch all the low hanging fruit in the summer sales.
Beginning in mid October brands will run sales events every 2 weeks to build up to the holiday season. Pick up a few more items then.
From August to November you have four months, so try to take advantage of the seasonal sales and get through at least a quarter of your list every month.
What are your Christmas shopping strategies? Email me or leave a comment.