Last minute holiday shopping can cause an overwhelming amount of stress on a person as they spend the last days before Christmas scrambling to find the perfect gift. So many of us procrastinate shopping for a variety of reasons; regardless of our reasons, last minute gift shopping can be very expensive and time consuming. All the hype to find the perfect gift can drain us of any remaining money and Christmas cheer. Luckily, there are many quick and easy ways to avoid overspending on last minute holiday shopping.
Avoid the Temptation:
Before shopping for anything, it is always important to have a list. Even if it is just a mental jot-down of ambiguous items, a list will help monitor how you are spending your money. That being said, online window-shopping is every budgets’ worse nightmare. Even going through your email can lead to very expensive overhauls with things that were not even on your shopping list. Cautious shoppers will know to never click “display image” as it often entails a sticky fiscal situation afterwards. And, most shoppers of the Christmas season will often unsubscribe and stray from auction and bidding sites due to how overwhelmingly easy it is to go overboard. While it’s tempting, the trick to avoid overspending on last minute holiday shopping is to say “no”.
Keep your Inbox in Check:
As we venture closer to Christmas, many online sites tend to oversell their items to the weary shopper. As if in-store signs and TV promotions weren’t enough to get our attention for the “best Christmas deals”, stores also make sure to flood our inboxes with “online only” sales. The overwhelming number of emails advertising the best prices can cause even the most frugal Christmas shopper to overreach their budget. To avoid overspending on last-minute holiday shopping, there are several amazing services such as Sanebox. Sanebox, Unroll.Me, and other such tools, are all resources that will prioritize your mail and assist with unsubscribing to sites that clutter your inbox. For more important emails, Unroll.Me will allow you to save them in a daily roll-up and will allow you to choose when they are sent to your inbox. Having a clean inbox can help avoid overspending by limiting the amount of unnecessary ads.
Here’s a small list of a few great tools to help avoid overspending on last-minute holiday shopping:
- The Email Game
Make a List:
Not even Santa gets gifts before making a list, so why should you? Making a list is one of the smartest ways to avoid overspending on last-minute holiday shopping. With all the amazing stuff you see online it gets hard to figure out when you’re shopping for yourself and when you’re shopping for someone else. As difficult as gift giving can be, there are ways to make it easy on every shopper. The simplest way to make a list is by doing it “grocery list” style. It’s easy! There’s no special formatting; just write down your gift ideas as if you were writing down food to get at the store. However, for those of you out there looking for an easier way to keep up with the cost, there are sources such as the Master Gift List
that actually has space for you to add up your costs. Other, more high tech, include “Gift Professor” along with more Christmas gift apps, that can be downloaded right to your phone so you do not have to worry about losing a paper list.
Empty your Cookie Jar:
Sadly, I don’t mean that you should steal Santa’s cookies. Actually, clearing the cookies from your browser is one of the smartest ways to prevent impulse buys and to avoid overspending on last-minute holiday shopping. It seems as while we are searching through sites for our cousin’s perfect Christmas gift, the previous pages follow us through the internet. Expensive purses that we talked ourselves out of buying just a few moments ago seem to haunt us from page to page until we finally break down and whip out the credit card. Ads sponsored by previous sites are horrible for your budget as it offers more ways to spend money in less clicks. In order to save your bank account from starvation, clear your cookies as often as possible. Trust me, your budget will thank you as you manage to avoid overspending on last-minute holiday shopping.
[Read: A Balance of Saving and Spending]
Smooth Sailing to Checkout:
Checking out can be one of the most exciting things to do after spending hours searching through the internet to find gifts for every individual on our list. However, check out is also one of the bigger nerve-wracking things about shopping online. With warnings from the newsroom about the very real danger of identity theft occurring to online shoppers, it can leave a person very apprehensive to purchasing the items that they looked so long for. Luckily, like with most things, there are ways to protect yourself from identity theft while making the check out experience even easier. Apps such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay are easy and secure ways to pay for your items.