Why You Should Start your Holiday Shopping Today

Santa Carrying Shopping BagsI will fully admit that I am one those people who cringes when holiday music starts wafting through the loudspeakers at the local mall, because we have barely finished shopping for school supplies, and it seems far too soon to even contemplate holiday shopping.  Seriously, the leaves are still fully on the trees, and I am still wearing sandals. However, the calendar will march into the holiday season, whether we are willing or not.

There are admittedly, numerous compelling reasons (both budgetary and sanity related) to start holiday shopping now.

Merits of Planning

When it comes to keeping true to your budget, no matter your activity, planning is your friend.  By starting now, you are not subject to last-minute impulse purchases. Convenience always comes at a cost.

By laying out a long-term shopping plan (including lists, timeline, stores etc.) you can make thoughtful purchases that are supportive of strategic spending. You can also tailor a budget specific to holiday shopping.

Hit those Sales!

Sales are cyclical, and you have to be paying attention to catch the wave, so to speak. Stores will set sales as a lure for consumers at staged intervals leading up to the season.

After you have decided what it is that you are going to shop for, and what your list looks like, research sales and include them in your planning.

The earlier you start shopping, the more sales you are likely to hit- and the more money you are likely to save.

Spread Costs over Time

Sticking to your budget is much easier if spending is done in small chunks that are less noticeable (and less influential) on your bottom line.

When you have time on your side, you can allocate funds from your regular paycheques and manage these expenses far easier.

Furthermore, when you’re not rushed, battling with crowds at the store and the impending holiday date placing pressure, you are ultimately in control of your spending. The temptation to dip into credit and to overspend is tamed by this sense of time.

First Come, First Serve

Everyone has done it- stood face to face with bare shelves as the store prepares to close, and you remain empty handed.

If you shop now, you get first crack at inventory. That usually means, the best stuff, the right sizes and often at the best prices.

Stress Relief!

Which would you rather? Circling the parking lot with the other last-minute-lucys battling over scarce parking spots, lining up interminably at the cash as the clock ticks, or spending a lazy December afternoon with your family, or curled up with a book?

Not only does planning and leveraging time available assist with sticking to budget when it comes to holiday shopping, it also does wonders for mental health and family life. You avoid crowds. You avoid panic when trying to come up with last-minute gift ideas.

Think festive as opposed to frazzled.

You can Shop in Your Pajamas

By starting well in advance, you can research different stores, but also look at online shopping options, which are not always practical when your holiday shopping days are numbered. Will your goods arrive before the holiday, or vice versa?

Numerous retailers offer free shipping over the holiday season (which begins soon). This lets you shop in your pajamas (luxury!) at whatever time of day suits you. If you have time to wait for shipments to arrive, this is a good shopping option.