Savvy Shopping: How Not To Go Over Your Holiday Shopping Budget

Aside from surprise snow days and ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas,” one of the best parts of the holiday season is picking out the perfect gift for that special someone. But as much fun as it is seeing that person unwrap the present that you put so much thought into getting for them, shopping can be stressful—especially when you have a list a mile long and a shrinking bank account.

But just because money’s tight, doesn’t mean you can’t spread the holiday cheer. Just in time for the holidays, HC is here to give you tips and tricks for not overspending this year, how to set your budget, creative gift ideas that are more than affordable and who you should nix from your list to save money.

To buy for or not to buy for?

The first step in your holiday shopping excursion is to condense your list, which means you need to sit down and really figure out who makes the cut this year and who doesn’t.

Below are some people you might want to reconsider…

  • Your six brothers and sisters

While it’s nice to want to pick out an individualized, special gift for each of your siblings, you may risk breaking the bank attempting to do so. If you have multiple siblings (this can get even more complicated when half and step-siblings are in the picture too!), take the lead by getting your brothers and sisters together and mix it up this year by suggesting a Secret Santa. Put everyone’s name into a hat, and whomever you choose, you’re in charge of finding a gift for. This takes the pressure off of tracking the down the perfect gift for everyone and adds the element of surprise by keeping your sibs guessing all month long.

  • Your suitemates or roommates 

If money is tight this year for you, chances are, between last week’s grocery receipt and the heat bill, it’s going to be tight for the people you live with 24/7 too. Instead of buying each other gifts (which can especially get pricey when you have more than one roommate!), have everyone chip in a couple of dollars and cook a feast together before you head home for the holidays. Not only will you squeeze in some extra roommate bonding time before winter break in the kitchen, but you’ll also save major dollars. If you’re willing to splurge a bit more, take a break from studying and rally the troops to your favorite diner (which usually has cheaper food) instead.

  • Your best friends from high school 

From witnessing your first break-up to going to prom, your best buds from high school have been there since the beginning. But whether you have two BFFs from home or 10, instead of purchasing each of them a generic gift from Bath & Body Works, why not instead invest in time together while you’re home? Part of what makes coming home for the holidays so great is seeing your friends whom you never get to see at all. Celebrate the holidays with your friends by asking everyone to agree on a day where you can all do something together whether it’s ice skating in the park, post-Christmas sales shopping at the mall or baking cookies at someone’s house.