Get “$” Fit Challenge- December 2014

I think during that shopping is a huge part of the Holidays. It is important to keep in mind ways to save and be successful when shopping for the things you really want. Due to this I thought it was important to re-share this blog with you!

I’m sure many of you went out in the madness that is Black Friday to get the best deal around. I did not participate this year. My daughter did, however.

Her main purpose was to make it to Old Navy because everything was 50% off in the store. While she was out competing with the crowds I stayed home and wondered about the sales and came up with some great tips.

Tips for Shopping Success for Christmas Presents:

1)  Don’t always follow the crowds. 

When you follow the crowds often times you end up in this blood bath for a product that they say they have a limited quantity of. What’s the fun in that? Go to another store or shop online. Crowds are chaotic!

 

2)  Go to another store.

Going to another store can be good because you may find better deals on things you want. Sometimes if the store has that magical item you are looking for you can get them to price match another stores lower price. I’ve successfully done this many times.

 

3)  Always go with a budget in mind.

Having a spending budget for the day is a good thing. When you don’t shop with a budget you end up spending more than you intended. When shopping with a budget you can also save more money, which I am a huge advocate of! It really is a smart financial strategy.

 

4)  Make a list.

It is important to make a list for everyone you are shopping for. A list can help you narrow down the number of stores you need to visit and can be easily matched with your budget. Put an amount you are willing to spend on each person with the list then you can better manage your time, money, and gifts.

 Keep Calm

5)  Don’t go spend everything on Black Friday!

Pace yourself. The great deals won’t just end on Black Friday. They will continue all the way to Christmas Eve. The great thing about waiting is that coupons come out in the mail and online that can help with the deals each store is running.  Take Bath and Body Works for instance. They ran a buy 3, get 3 free deal on Black Friday. This is another place my daughter went. She gave me a coupon to use that will get me $10 off of $30. They are running their usual buy 3, get 2 free or buy 2, get 1 free. I will be able to use the coupon regardless of the current deal and save myself more money in the end. This is the time of year to become the coupon queen or king!

 

6)  Go to the mom and pop shops.

It is important to support our local businesses during the holidays. Many of them have great offers and great little gifts to give people. They appreciate the business. By shopping locally we are showing our community support. Service is often superior at local merchants.

 

7)  Plan your route.

Once you have figured out what stores you are going to, make a map.  Making a map can save you time and money. If you live in Mooresville you will find that a lot of the stores are in a circle on Hwy 150. My daughter used this to her advantage. She started at one end and continued to all the stores she wanted to go to on the same side of 150 and then continued to the other side and down 150 towards home. She said she ended up maximizing her trip with time, gas, and fun. Having a plan like a map cuts down on the constant fighting through traffic.

I hope these steps help you during the remainder of December and Holiday shopping. Having a plan and using tips are Great Financial Strategies For Life!

Remember after Christmas sales are just around the corner!

About Sara Seasholtz

Sara Seasholtz, CFP®, was voted one of "50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte" by The Mecklenburg Times in 2011, and she's been a trusted financial advisor to her clients for over 30 years. Have a financial question?ASK SARA!

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