6 Tips to Master Holiday Shopping

Believe it or not, we are only about a week away from the start of the 2013 holiday shopping season. By following these six tips, you’ll master holiday shopping without draining your checking account.



Develop a Budget

Start by making a list of the people that are on your holiday list this year. Write down possible gift ideas that you have for that person and list a maximum dollar amount you are willing to spend. Then you’ll be able to realistically set an overall holiday spending budget. You can also use holiday calculators to help see how much of your overall household income should be dedicated to holiday gift giving.


Shop Early

Don’t wait until the last minute to get a jump-start on holiday shopping. With special deals, coupons, and offers that you may receive throughout the entire year, it may benefit you and your wallet to be in the holiday spirit year round. Not to mention, if you’ve got that list of people to buy for, shopping should be a breeze!


Get Crafty and DIY Gifts

Whether you’re making photo-books, ready to mix treats, or cookies, you’re probably able to spread holiday cheer to a larger group of people compared to buying these items. When a gift idea comes to mind, get a little creative and see how you can make it yourself for less than what you would pay in store.


Secret Santa

Are you from a large family or part of a circle of friends? Make holiday shopping just as special without overspending by drawing names and setting a spending limit. You’ll still be able to buy a gift for a loved one, but can do so in a way that helps everyone save a little extra.


Shop Online

Now is the time to scout out Cyber Monday, and other online, deals! Research shows that shoppers will complete 40% of their shopping online this year. An added perk from many e-commerce retailers is free shipping! And of course there’s always the added bonus of shopping in your PJs.


Do Your Research

It doesn’t matter when you do the majority of your holiday shopping, do your research! Most stores now have price match policies for you to take advantage of, but only if you do some background work on the product that you’ve got your eye on. You should also be aware of a retailer’s return policy and don’t forget to ask for a gift receipt when making your purchase.


Tune in to our Twitter account next Friday, November 29th. We’ll be tweeting tips, advice and more on the holiday shopping season and Black Friday! What Black Friday strategies do you have?


Kara Vincent
Kara Vincent

Kara Vincent is the Financial Officer at Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union.