When you’re a parent, Christmas and the winter holidays can be a truly hard time financially: while children and teenagers get to enjoy gifts and taste expensive sweets, not only do you have to purchase various gifts for your entire family, but you also have to provide enough money for eventual visits to or from family members. If you are looking for last minute tips and tricks that will help you save money in the coming weeks, you’ve come to the right place as Manchester accountants Alexander has provided us with their top tips for the season.
The biggest hurdle of the holiday season is managing to buy every item off your child’s wishlist while also keeping family members and close friends in mind. In order to do that successfully, you will need a lot of patience, as you will have to compare prices between multiple stores, browse many websites, and do a lot of calculations.
Before setting out to buy anything, you should make a list of the big retailers in your area and check their official social media pages, as many advertise upcoming sales or post coupons there. One paramount aspect of saving money this holiday season is browsing the Internet for coupons that can be used to lower the price of products. Besides posting them on their social media pages, most stores these days offer coupons in their adverts, or as a reward for spending a certain amount. While many of these coupons cannot be used on products that are on sale, they certainly come in handy when you need to buy a new, expensive toy, or that brand new games console that your children have been begging for.
Of course, buying items that are on sale will always be better than keeping a stack of coupons with you at all times. Most people do their gift shopping on Black Friday, but if you missed that opportunity this year, don’t kick yourself for it: most stores also offer holiday sales for last-minute gift-buying sessions. Perhaps the sales won’t be as huge as the ones on Black Friday, but any sale means money saved that can be used on another gift.
If you are planning on doing your shopping online, there are many websites extensions for browsers which will help you compare prices easily. Just keep in mind that some stores also charge for shipping when you’re planning your purchases. On that same note, you need to look out for stores that offer free shipping once you spend a certain amount, as you should try and purchase as many items off your list from there (as long as the prices are similar to other websites, of course). This way, you’ll be saving a lot of time and money.
If the retail prices are proving too expensive for your wallet, it might be worth trying to browse online auction websites such as eBay, or from classified websites like Craigslist. Buying second hand is always cheaper, and with a lot of attention, can net you a product that’s just as good as one bought from a store. Be sure to properly check the descriptions and pictures of the products listed, and to contact the sellers about any inquiries you might have. If the seller hesitates to provide certain details, or gives you a description that doesn’t fit the photo, then they might be trying to scam you: ignore them and find another product.
All in all, shopping for holiday gifts can prove to be expensive and tedious. However, if you follow all the tips in this article, you should get gift-buying done quickly, with lots of money to spare. Once you’re done, enjoy the holidays and the time off with your family! You’ve earned it.