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Dear Sofia … December Edition

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https://pxhere.com/en/photo/910743

Dear Sofia, 

How do I budget wisely for holiday shopping?

Sincerely, Overspending Shopper

 

Dear Overspending Shopper, 

With Secret Santas and buying gifts for your closest friends and family, the holiday season can be hard on your bank account! Here are some tips for spending wisely this winter.

1. Set price limits for each person. 

Often in Secret Santa exchanges, price limits are set so everyone is spending a reasonable amount. However, whether you are participating in a Secret Santa or simply buying gifts for your friends and family, it’s easy to go over these budgets and what you are comfortable spending. Make sure you hold yourself accountable and stick to the limit. After you figure out everyone you need to buy gifts for, decide how much you are willing to spend in total, and divide it up evenly among the people on your list. Then, stick to this number!

2. Compare prices at different locations. 

If you have gifts in mind for the people on your list, take the time to find the best price! Although it can be time consuming to go to a few different websites or stores, this is one of the best ways you can save money. Simply looking up the gift you have in mind can show prices at different stores. Make sure you factor in shipping costs as well when trying to find the best deal online. 

3. Look for discounts. 

Always look for sales and discounts! Stores often do sales during the holidays – not just on Black Friday! Keep up with when these deals are happening (they are often advertised on T.V.) and look for coupons in newspapers, magazines, or online. 

4. Give the gift of free experiences.

Keep in mind that a gift doesn’t have to be tangible. If there is a free Christmas Light show in a local park or neighborhood, think about inviting your loved one there! Or a movie night at your house, free ice skating, etc. Think about their hobbies and do some research on what free activities around you might be enjoyable to them. 

5. Opt to create something handmade. 

This is one of the best ways to save money during the holidays. Handmade gifts can be more personal and I often find they mean the most! While this option can get expensive depending on your vision, it definitely doesn’t have to be.  Craft supplies can be bought at the dollar store, and you can look online for inspiration. Cooking or baking a holiday treat is a great option too. If you choose to create something homemade, don’t forget it’s still important to stick to a budget just as if you were buying a gift. 

Happy holidays!

Sofia

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