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Buying Gifts During the Holidays

The holiday season is synonymous with gifting. Here is a way to buy your gifts without burning a hole in your pocket.

Holidays are a time of celebration. However, it is also a time of increased expenses. The holiday season is associated with colourful decorations, new clothes, sweets, etc. Another major tradition of most holiday celebrations is that of giving gifts. This can turn into a very expensive affair. Read on for some tips on planning your purchases without fretting about how much money you are spending.

Have a Budget

The first thing to do before you decide on what gifts to buy is to have a budget. You also need to decide on how much money you are setting aside for the gifts. Be honest about this amount. If you can spare only ten thousand rupees for gifts this year, that is your final amount. You cannot go over the amount you have set no matter how important. This will also ensure that you think twice before making any purchases. However, you could keep a small amount set aside separately in case someone unexpectedly gives you a gift and you need to respond.

Once you have decided on a budget for the gifts, start drawing up a list of people you have to give gifts to. At the same time, specify the amount you are going to spend on the gift. The amount may vary depending on your relationship with the person. For example, you might set a budget of two thousand rupees for your husband's gift while a gift for your neighbour's child can have a budget of two hundred rupees.

Having a budget can save you both time and money. If you have a specific amount set aside, you are less likely to overshoot your budget and spend extra money. This also helps save time since you can then shop for your gifts with a specific goal in mind. You will not waste time looking at items which do not fit into your budget.

Buy in Bulk

The holiday season is a great time to look for discounts. Many stores offer gift items at a lesser price, especially if you buy large quantities. Also, keep an eye out for offers like 'buy one and get one free'. The only thing to keep in mind with this option is to make sure that people in one household do not wind up with the same gift.

Whenever possible, get gifts wrapped at the store itself. Many stores offer a free gift-wrapping facility at festival time. If you are planning to wrap the gifts yourself, buy gift-wrapping paper wholesale. You will save a lot of money compared to spending on individual sheets from a regular store.

Consider Sending an E-card

Sending out greeting cards is another part of celebrating festivals. However, greeting cards do not come cheap. Add to that the cost of postage and you could find yourself spending a large amount on your holiday greetings. If you simply must send greeting cards, consider buying your cards from a wholesale store.

Another way of sending out greetings is to use e-cards. Most of them are free, and can be sent to more than one recipient. Not only will you save the cost of buying a greeting card but also you will save money on postage since the card will be sent via e-mail. Sending an e-card also means you are cutting down on paper use. This is a small way to do your bit towards saving the environment.

Gifts for Yourself

During holidays, people often buy gifts for themselves or the home. This is a time when you might be tempted to make a lavish purchase as you are in the holiday mood. Many stores cash in on this fact and serve up many tempting offers at this time. For example, you may find your neighbourhood electronics store offering a chance to buy an LCD TV for a paltry down payment, allowing you to pay the rest of the amount in monthly instalments. Before you make the purchase, take a look at the deal you are being offered. Check for hidden costs like interest rates on the monthly payments. Also, add the monthly instalment to your current household budget. Can you make this payment every month without fail? If you are not sure, it is better to avoid buying the appliance.

Celebrating a holiday does not mean unnecessary expenditure. With a little planning, you can do all your shopping well in advance and keep your finances intact.

Do you buy gifts for your loved ones during festivals? What strategies do you use to save money during your holiday shopping? Do you plan your shopping or are you an impulsive buyer? To share your tips, views, and experiences, click here.

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