Planning what you intend to buy and for whom the present is for, this is an important step if you want to have a stress free and organized shopping experience. There is nothing worse than going out without a plan and coming home empty-handed or with a pile of presents that no one really wants, is exhausting and budget blowing too.
Preparation For Your Christmas Present Shopping
Preparation is the key to a successful Christmas present shopping experience. You need to know a few key things before you start.
- What is your overall budget
- The budget for breaking down for the different people
- The time you will have at the shops
- Who is going with you
- How are you paying for parking
- How are you paying for snacks or a meal
- The items that you plan to get
While this might seem obvious in some areas, it is important that you consider the cost of the shopping trip. It is very unlikely that you can plan a shopping trip and not stop for refreshments, even if it is to check your list and to plan your next move. Therefore, it is important that you know where the money is for this expense is going to come from, the same for the parking charges, have you the money planned and put to one side for this expense?
Knowing Your Budget
If you know how much money you have for each individual person you are buying for, it makes it so much easier to work out when you have spent the budget.
For me this is where a notebook comes in handy. There is a section for each person I am buying for along with the budget for the person as well as any ideas that I might have for their presents.
Working from these lists you can pull together a present shopping list that you can work with. Group together like present ideas and that way you only need to make one stop per shop. I find that by compiling a list of what I want to get people and then pulling this list into an actual shopping list makes it easier to work with. As I choose the presents, I mark this on their list with the price of the item and keep a running total of how much I have spent. This ensures that I don’t go over budget.
Refreshment time is ideal for going over you list and making sure that you have got everything you need and know where you are heading, what shops to visit and presents you have left to buy. It is also a great time for making adjustments to lists, sometimes you see something more appropriate and you need to note this down so you don’t buy extra and go over budget.
When To Go Present Shopping
While I get bits and pieces over the course of the year, the main present shopping I leave to the end of the year, because it ensures that I get the right presents at the right prices.
When my children were little, pre-school age, I was crafty with shopping because they were with me, but as they grew and school arrived, it gave me the perfect opportunity to shop without little eyes seeing. As they got older I have stuck with going shopping during school time, even though mine are no longer at school.
The main reason I choose this is because it is quieter to shop when there are fewer people around and this is when school is still in session. I just plan these shopping days to allow me to get the items I need with less stress and fewer people about doing their shopping.
Therefore, before you step out of the door to go Christmas present shopping, being prepared as to what you need and for whom, can save you going over budget and buying more than you can afford.