It always seems that birthdays, weddings and Xmas all come along at once. There’s one time of year when everyone has their birthday, and of course at Xmas there’s always a frenzy of shopping mixed with despair at not knowing what to buy your extended family. There’s no need for this annual trauma however; thinking ahead and shopping throughout the year can save you time, worry and cash.
The January sales are a perfect time to make some gift investments. Spend your Xmas cash on stocking-fillers for next year. Of course, it’s too early to tell what people would really like, but if its books or accessories you can’t go wrong. A stockpile of general-purpose presents ensures that all those not-so-close relations don’t have to be worried about when the time comes.
If you spread your shopping across the year you’ll spread the cost too. If you know someone has a birthday coming up, don’t leave it to the last second to get their present; advance thinking means you can both plan what to get them, and time your shopping to afford it. Buy a few presents every month and only shop for the most important things nearer the time.
Alternatively, save a little each month in a special gift fund. If you think your friend’s tastes change too often to buy early, make sure you can afford to spend when the time comes. Make the gift fund your budget and stick to it so that you know your exact outgoings. Knowing what you can afford each year takes some of the stress out of the whole experience; you know you’ll never be in debt.
If you buy presents for lots of friends or acquaintances, you might consider buying in bulk. Have 6 nieces scattered across the country? Try wholesale jewellery
Sometimes you just can’t find what you want at home. High street shops come to seem all the same, and you wish you could find something unique and unusual instead of the same old designs. Internet shopping is a great way to find quirky gifts, from manufacturers abroad you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. The only trouble with this is the international shipping; it can take time. If you are sourcing presents from abroad, make sure you do it well in advance so that your order arrives in time. Even if the seller ships straight away, your package could get caught in customs and be delayed. Being early rather than late ensures that you won’t have to worry about receiving goods in time.
All these tips mean that you’ll have a stockpile of emergency presents, save money and be more organised. Planning, budgeting and buying when it’s cheap are all great ways to take the stress out of gift shopping.