I literally do not understand why everyone makes the greatest holiday in the world SO FREAKING STRESSFUL. Families skipping Thanksgiving to stand in line at stores all night long, to crazy crowds trampling over people- all of this has to stop. There is absolutely NO reason the holidays have to be that stressful.
I’m sharing with you all my tips for a stress-free holiday season. Continue reading for ways to earn money on every purchase, budgeting for the holiday, and creating your shopping list TODAY.
Creating your list early allows you to know exactly what you need to look for on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and whenever random sales are happening. By the time Christmas rolls around, your shopping will have been done for weeks.
Create Your Shopping list
You will finalize your list by the end of this exercise, so for now, write down everyone you would like to buy a gift for.
Set Your Total Budget
Now is the perfect time to set a Christmas budget and know exactly how much you are going to spend. It helps not to rush at the last minute and stress about getting a good gift with leftover income. No matter what your budget is, you can give beautiful and meaningful gifts. (I will touch on this a little more next month)
Anyways, figure out all the paydays you will have before Christmas. Write them down with how much you usually have for each paycheck. Even if it varies every time budget for the lowest you will receive. That way you don’t have to stress and you know if it’s not as big as you need it to be you can still get everything accomplished.
Remember, Christmas isn’t about the gifts no matter what social media shows us. Even if you can only put $5-$10 away a paycheck you can still give a wonderful gift.
Set Your Budget Per Person
Once your total budget is set, create your budget per person. From the list you created earlier, take the most important people you absolutely need to buy gifts for. Then include the secondary people like co-workers, friends, and more distant relatives. Once you set your budget per person and find you have left over, you can then include the other people you would like to get gifts for.
I spend a few minutes playing around with this. Sometimes I divide my total budget by the number of people I’m shopping for and keep it equal that way. Or if it is a diverse mix and I don’t want to spend as much on some as I do others (like husbands, kids, or parents vs coworkers and friends). Then I create the budget for the people I want to spend less on, and then take what I have left in the total budget and divide it by those I want to spend a little more on. There are a hundred ways to create a budget. Don’t overthink it. This is just to create a general idea so when you go shopping you aren’t stressed and know exactly how much you can spend.
Create Your Shopping List Per Person
Now’s the fun part, creating your shopping list!! This is SO important I seriously have no idea why some people fight the Christmas crowds wandering aimlessly hoping a gift presents itself. GIRL, GET IT TOGETHER. You are literally making your life ten times harder. 1- you can shop through Swagbucks (at home, with wine) and make money on each purchase 2- YOU CAN SHOP ONLINE WITH PROMO CODES
When you create a shopping list per person you are able to scratch out unnecessary items and save money by not buying things they don’t want/need. It gives you an idea of exactly what you are searching for which you can then copy and paste in your search engine and browse for the best deals. There are so many websites out there that offer free shipping, promo codes, bundles, sales, and so much more to make your Christmas money really stretch. Also, there are sites like Swagbucks that pays you for each purchase.
Planning ahead allows you enough time to get everything for the perfect gift. If you are making something you know exactly what you’re making and when you need it done by. Spending 30 minutes planning it out will save you SO MUCH MORE TIME all season long. Time for pumpkin spice lattes, Christmas movies, and spending time with your loved ones.
Sign Up For Swagbucks
All #promo aside, Swagbucks is the shit. I used Swagbucks last Christmas to shop for everyone (I didn’t really ever bother with the surveys) and by the 2nd week of Christmas, I literally had $437 in Swagbucks that I was able to redeem for a Visa Gift Card. We used to book flights to Denver for an after Christmas holiday. Our flights didn’t use the whole amount so we applied the rest to the hotel and literally all we had to pay for that trip was two nights hotel and food.
I get mad at myself when I forget about it and make purchases without going through Swagbucks. All you do is create a free account and go to their “Shop” section. From there click on your favorite websites and brands you would like to shop at. A window opens up with the company you clicked on official website and you are now earning points on every purchase. The only “catch” is you have to log onto Swagbucks first and get to the website from their link. But they have a super easy Search feature where you can browse shops. As well as a chrome extension that alerts you when you are shopping on a website that earns you Swagbucks. You just click activate and it links to your account.
I know there are more of these websites out and I have no idea how those other do. I am only writing about Swagbucks because it is the one I personally use and continue to have a great experience with. If you guys have tried the other ones, I would love to hear about them in the comments below.
Viola! You’re ready to get your Christmas shopping on and make everyone jealous that you finished your shopping weeks before Christmas.
I HIGHLY encourage before you start shopping major retailers online, to please check out the Small Businesses that have been featured on Picking Daisies. When you shop small you are supporting a family and helping them buy Christmas gifts for their loved ones. If you are going to spend the money, and buy a similar gift anyways, put the money in shops that are so grateful for each and every sale. You can find shops and services here.
Thanks so much for reading and Happy Holidays!
Check back next week for Online Shopping Tips that will save you so much money and time! Woo-hoo!