Here's How To Maximise Your Dollar for Christmas Shopping This Year
27 November 2017
Christmas is certainly a time of cheer and joy. Maybe for some it’s because of the everchanging Orchard Road decorations and light up. For others it could just be a time they set aside to spend with friends and family, or just run away for a well deserved holiday.
But after the Christmas season, it could end up becoming a period of regret after having gone way over your budget during the Christmas period. It’s not too late to make sure that you stick within your means even as you plan your gift buying, and here’s how you can save a bit more money this festive season:
Plan your Christmas shopping early
Many people leave their shopping to the last minute and end up spending way more than they should because of poor planning. You don’t know what to get your friend, how much to budget, where to hunt for good deals, how to consolidate all your shopping expenses, how to get rebates or cash back so you save more, and the list could go on.
It’s also important to consider that for some sites that offer cheaper items might take awhile to ship your order due to the sheer volume they have to deal with, so planning is key to ensuring that you’re actually giving Christmas gifts and not missing the actual day and ending up with a strange “New Year present”.
In general, before you go hunting, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting presents people would actually like, and a little thought can certainly go a very long way. You’ll also want to do some shopping prep by allotting a proper budget and setting some spending limits. It helps if you could make a shopping list of things to buy too. Otherwise, you might just grab the most convenient thing to buy and fall prey to the numerous sales tactics in the lead up to the festive season, instead of taking advantage of the many opportunities for cost savings, which brings us to our next point…
Consolidate all your online shopping to one parcel/delivery
If you’re planning on doing all your Christmas shopping online, it’s best to consolidate all your buys in one website if they do not offer free shipping. That way, you’ll be paying for 1 parcel from a website instead of multiple ones from different websites.
Some sites may also offer free shipping if you spend above a certain amount, so if you’re shopping at a popular site that you know your friends might be buying gifts from as well, it makes sense to consolidate orders to save even more. And if you stand to benefit by paying first as well by earning cashback or air miles on your credit card!
Otherwise, if you really have to do your shopping at different sites, forward your parcels to a freight forwarder. Companies like vPost and Ezbuy not only offer lower shipping rates to Singapore, they’ll also help repackage all your parcels into one so you save more on shipping.
Taking advantage of benefits from credit cards…
Managed well, you can greatly boost your credit card benefits during the festive period. With the amount of travelling and shopping that happens in the last quarter of the year, fulfilling spending requirements for sign up bonuses become much easier, so make sure you sign up for the right credit card early to take advantage of this.
For shopping benefits, get a good credit card that gives you extra benefits off the sites or stores you’ll be shopping at. If you’re planning to take a long distance trip next year, consider a good air miles card to maximise your spending for bonus miles that you can then redeem to offset the cost of your travels.
…And other miscellaneous cash back apps.
After you’ve saved from using the right credit cards, apps such as Deja and Shopback can also give you even more cashback off your purchases. These apps offer you additional cashback when you purchase items through the app, and you’re able to shop on popular sites such as Lazada, ASOS, Taobao and many more.
If you seriously don’t want to spend too much money, you can try:
Recycling the GOOD stuff
Sounds a bit cheapo. But hey, why waste money when you already have something nice to gift others right? Whether it’s a gift you’ve received previously or just an item you bought that you didn’t use, if you do not see yourself using it, the item’s still in good working condition (don’t go gifting expired food/makeup/ skincare, thanks!), and you know the person receiving the gift will love it… Why not gift it? That way, your friend loves what they receive, and the item doesn’t go wasted sitting in the corner of your home collecting dust and cluttering up your space. Everyone’s happy. Including your wallet.
DIY-ing your gifts might be more troublesome, and time-consuming. But if you’re not looking to spend any money, making creative use of what you already have at home could be your solution. If you have some excess stuff and/or tools at home left over from your hobbies such as paintbrushes or beads, handmade cards or accessories can add a personal touch to your gifts.
For serious bakers, cookies and little snacks can also make great gifts. So don’t be afraid to get creative. There are plenty of tutorials on Youtube on how to create a wide variety of gifts so you don’t have to figure things out on your own!
Got any money-saving tips this Christmas? Share them with us! Let’s learn from each other!