Thursday, December 12, 2013, AM | Leave Comment
Because of the rotten economy, you must be extremely careful in not blowing all your paycheck and bonuses, if any, on holiday shopping.
Here are 5 big tips for savings when you shop for this year holidays.
Remember to avoid incidental and impulse purchases. They add up in no time at all, without you even realizing it.
So shop carefully. It’s your choice to feel good or bad at the end of the day after you are done shopping for this year holidays.
Make a list and set a budget
First and foremost, make a list of family members and friends that you want to buy gifts for. In front of each name, write down the kind of gift you want to buy. Then set aside a certain amount for that gift. Include the cost of cash gifts, holiday travel, extra food, wrappings, decorations, greeting cards, and postage.
Sometimes, a sale price is not always the best price. If you have access to the Internet, go online and check and compare prices. Some merchants will match, or even beat, a competitor’s prices. If you buy online, include shipping and handling cost.
Minimize use of credit and debit cards
To minimize interest and other charges, try to limit credit card purchases to an amount you can pay in full at the end of the month. If you use a debit card, don’t rely on an overdraft feature to spend money you don’t have. When you go out shopping, carry only the card you may need to use.
Clip coupons for those items only what you plan to buy. If you don’t need to buy an item, coupons or not, just don’t buy it. Coupons obviously can help but buying items just because you have coupons for them is the worst thing to do.
Ask about refund and return policies
Many merchants may have different refund and return policies for sale items. Ask for their return policy. Most stores already have them in writing.
We bought two Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones at Wal-Mart. Ordinarily the phone costs $699 but we got them for $99 each with Wal-Mart $100 gift card for each of the two phones. So the net effect is $0 for both. We shop at Wal-Mart for stuff we actually need.
In a Nutshell
If you are sending gifts to folks out of town, factor in extra time for shipping. If you wait until the last minute, you may pay a hefty price for express or overnight shipping.