So as the clock ticks ever closer, Room to Grow have gathered together some top tips to transform you into a Christmas shopping pro this year. Say goodbye to the stressful overspending, zero planning and prepare to handle the challenge with festive open arms!

Lists

Firstly, start smart and make a list. From close family and distant relatives to best friends, work colleagues and even the dog – quickly jot down everyone who you plan to purchase gifts for this year. Include any ideas that come to mind for each person, maybe there is something specific that reminds you of them. If you’re a list fanatic, Pinterest is a pioneering alternative to the standard notepad and pen. Collect groups of potential gift images for each person all in one place. The possibilities are endless – beware it can be addictive! But whether you choose the more traditional method or get creative with imagery, the most important and often the hardest thing is to make a list and stick to it! That way you won’t be strolling around desperately searching for a spark of inspiration without any ideas in mind – your list is there to help.

 

Don’t Budge on the Budget

Now you have a list and an abundance of ideas, have a long think about how much or little you wish to spend on each gift. By limiting your spending habits, you are less likely to overspend when you have a strict budget in mind. Planning gifts for various friends and family can be a struggle, it’s often difficult to keep in control. Then, the hardest part of all – stick to it!  After all, it’s the thought that counts, not the price tag.

 

Be a Fan of a Plan

Instead of trying to squeeze all of your gift buying into one busy day in December, or even worse turning to online shopping and having to rely on next day delivery within the last week before Christmas. Be clever. Start early and shop around. Begin putting together your list in early November, that way you have the time to shop around rather than panic buy. Always browse online and use price comparison sites, as well as checking in store before you make a decision on your purchase. You may miss the dreaded queues by shopping online but sometimes retailers offer bigger promotions in store (or vice versa). It is important to stay ahead of the game and ensure you are getting the best price for a certain present. This may take longer but will be balanced out by the savings you will encounter. What’s more, Black Friday falls towards the end of November promising great promotions and smaller price tags. It pays to be prepared.

 

Cupboard of Gifts

With all the pressure December brings as a whole, it can often be easier said than done to make sure your long list of jobs is accomplished. Ideally we endeavour to plan perfect gifts for everyone, but there’s always that one person who gets forgotten in the hectic countdown. Overcome this problem by setting up a Christmas present cupboard! Collect gifts throughout the year whenever you come across bargains that are too good to miss. Keep this idea in mind for Boxing Day sales, the perfect time to find presents to store away until next year. It’s often useful to keep a few generic gifts in your secret cupboard for that dreaded emergency – these will be your saviour when you realise you’ve missed someone off your Christmas list!

 

Solo Shopper

Finally, research shows that if you shop alone rather than with a friend you are likely to be more productive, less distracted and as a result stick to your list and the all-important budget. Who knew?

By using this tip you will have the freedom to shop without the presence of a certain companion to sway you from your good intentions or gut instinct without even realising. Nor will you be influenced to lose your present-buying focus. Avoid shopping companions and over splurging this Christmas – it will be a breeze. Try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

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