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Last Minute Christmas Spending Tips

December 3, 2019Financial Fitness

Even though every store is claiming to have the greatest last-minute gift ideas for the special people in your life, you don’t have to stress about overspending. Here are some tips to keep YOU (and your wallet) in check during the next few weeks and the last shopping days before Christmas.

a couple walking and smiling outside in the winter carrying Christmas presents

Follow your list and check it twice — stick to what you planned to spend before visiting any store or website!

Be a smart shopper — price compare online before setting foot in a store. You could save time looking for the best deal and save money on your purchases. Sign up to receive emails from your favourite retailers throughout the year, which will give you the inside scoop on the best deals and maybe even coupons!

Free is a beautiful thing — check out all your reward cards such as Petro Points, HBC, Air Miles and PC Points. This is a great time of year to take advantage of their offers and shop for (basically) free.

Naughty or nice — be nice to yourself and avoid using credit cards as much as you can during the holiday season. If something needs to be purchased on plastic make sure you can pay off the full amount within 30 days (or the time period your card allows before racking up interest).

Become an elf — if you have creative talents, such as cooking, crafts, etc., making your own gifts can be very special. If you’re not feeling very creative, consider giving your time. Offers to babysit or to do something special for someone can be very personal and incredibly appreciated gifts.

Remember that Santa’s elves work all year — start thinking about Christmas in July next year and budget a little for it each month. Shopping at the last minute often results in making additional purchases you don’t really need because you are feeling rushed and frenzied.

Most importantly, enjoy the season — substitute expensive get-togethers and elaborate holiday dinner parties with inexpensive entertainment at home. Host a neighbourhood potluck dinner or an evening of caroling over the next few weeks.

Finally, keep in mind that the holidays are not all about spending, but about giving. Some of life’s richest gifts can be given without any real cost to you. Spend time with your loved ones and friends making memories and have a blessed holiday season.