It’s that time of year again. The holiday season is around the corner, and with it comes all the joys of giving gifts to loved ones. But if you’re on a tight budget this year or are trying to avoid impulse buying altogether, there are some things you want to keep in mind before your next shopping trip to Divisoria or even when checking out items online.
It’s exciting to shop for new items and gifts, but it’s essential to consider the long-term effects before you make any purchases. For example, you might find yourself ‘window shopping’ in tiangges with no intention to make a purchase, but then you spot something that looks so tempting you have to buy it.
So, here are the 10 tips for resisting temptation this holiday season and avoiding impulsive buying.
#1 Set a budget and religiously stick to it
One of the most effective ways to avoid impulse buying is to set a budget and religiously follow it. This means knowing how much you’re willing to spend on each person on your list and not going over that amount. It may be challenging, but it’s worth it in the end.
You can use an Excel sheet to track the names, budget, and items or gifts assigned for each person. Aside from the item, make sure you also consider the cost of gift wrapping, Christmas cards, ribbons, and others.
#2 Do your research before purchasing an item
If you’re considering buying a new gadget or appliance for yourself or the family, it’s best to do your research first. Checking out consumer reports and reviews can help you decide if the product is worth the money.
It’s also important to compare prices online, such as Lazada and Shopee, and in physical stores before purchasing. If you can find an item at a lower price online, there’s no need to buy it in a physical store – unless, of course, you need it immediately.
#3 Make a holiday shopping list of what you only need
This tip is similar to tip #2 in that you should always know what you need before heading out to the mall. Of course, this doesn’t rule out spontaneity when it comes to picking up items at Divisoria or when you feel like shopping on a weekend afternoon.
But having an itemized list will ensure that you don’t forget anything you need and avoid unplanned purchases. Be practical and always think from the perspective of the receiver. Will it be useful? Is it practical? Will they appreciate it? These are some of the questions you need to ask before paying for the items.
#4 Avoid stores and online shops with heavy advertising
When walking around the malls during the holiday season, make sure you avoid stores with heavy marketing campaigns because they can be very tempting. They know they have great deals, and these ads catch your attention quickly.
So, avoiding these shops altogether can keep your wallet happy and flourishing throughout the holidays. Watch out for your social media feeds because there will surely be hundreds if not, thousands of ads popping on your screen, luring you to purchase items.
#5 Pay cash or use a debit or prepaid card
One way to avoid impulse buying is to pay cash when you’re shopping, and it will help you keep track of your spending and not go beyond your budget. If you’re using a debit or prepaid card, make sure that the funds are already in the account so you won’t have to worry about overdrawing your account.
Try not to use your credit card when shopping as it can be very easy to overspend this way. It’s also helpful to leave your credit cards at home when going out on a holiday shopping spree.
#6 Don’t shop if you feel stressed out or feeling down
When you’re feeling down, it’s not the best time to go shopping. You might be more likely to buy things you don’t need or can’t afford. So, try to take a break from shopping and do something else to take your mind off it. Shopping can be a coping mechanism that could lead you to buy more to feel better.
If you’re feeling stressed out, take some time for yourself and relax. Maybe watch your favorite movie or take a walk outdoors. Try to exercise or talk to someone and vent out your feelings. Once you’ve calmed down, then you can start thinking about doing some holiday shopping.
#7 Tag along with a frugal shopping buddy
Suppose you know someone good at bargain hunting, tag along with them when you go shopping. This will help you learn how to find great deals and save money. They can also be a good person to ask for advice if you see something that you want to buy but aren’t sure if it’s a good deal or not.
Plus, having someone to shop with will make the experience more enjoyable. You can also keep each other accountable by sharing your budgeted amount for the day/weekend and sticking to it. Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a bit of planning and some self-control, you can easily avoid being an impulsive buyer
#8 Ask yourself if it’s a need or a want
Before buying anything, ask yourself if you need it or want it because it’s on sale. Often, we buy things that we don’t need because they’re cheap and we can’t resist the urge.
So, please take a moment to think about it before purchasing. Will you be using it the entire year? Is it something that you will use and not just something that’s going to end up taking up space in your closet or home? You can wait for the next 30 days and test yourself if it’s something you need to buy.
#9 Use your credit card rewards points in exchange for vouchers and gift certificates
Have you redeemed your rewards points yet? If not, then this is the best time to do so. You can convert your rewards points into vouchers and gift certificates that you can give away to your loved ones and friends.
Giving gift certificates is another option, so you can just let the receiver use it the way they like it. Instead of giving physical gifts, gift certificates can be an excellent way to show that you remember the receiver even if they live hundreds of miles away from you.
#10 Try to avoid shopping with family and relatives
You might be feeling pressured when your loved ones ask to go shopping with them. But don’t let emotions get the best of you and cause you to buy things that you don’t need or can’t afford.
Shopping with a relative or a loved one is usually more enjoyable when the two of you agree on what to buy and stick within your budget. Ensure that everyone in your group knows how much money they should spend before going out to avoid overspending.
They might ask you to buy something for them or maybe ask you to pay for the items they want to purchase and pay you back next time. If a family member asks you for help or an ‘abono,’ politely decline and tell them you have a budget set for your holiday shopping list.
It’s time to start thinking about how you’ll be spending your money this holiday season. The holiday season is a great opportunity for families and friends to come together, but if you’re not careful, they can also end up being quite expensive when you don’t have a budget for the gifts.
There’s also nothing wrong with rewarding yourself this year, but make sure that you steer away from heavy ads and marketing tactics that may tempt you to become an impulsive buyer and shop for items that are way beyond your budget.
Remember, more than the presents, it’s the presence of each family member or friend that truly matters as you spend time with them this holiday season. Are you done with your Christmas shopping? Let us know your experience in the comments below.