As boring and tedious as financial affairs are, making sure you have enough cash for all those presents is vital. Create a list that includes the budget for each person or family member you are buying for. Make sure you exclude household bills, mortgage etc before you spend your life savings. Kris Kindle or “Secret Santa’ can help you save time and money. Don’t be tempted to go over your budget or you’ll be facing bankruptcy before the day arrives!
Shopping early will save you time and money, and most importantly, a lot of stress. Shopping on ‘off-days’ like week-day mornings and before lunch time will be much calmer than any other time. If it means taking a morning off work, or getting a sitter, to do it, then pick a day that suits you best. Shopping on a Saturday or Sunday in December are basically a no-no. If you are shopping online, November is the best time for early sale bargains and can be done from the warmth and safety of your own home. Read our guide on shopping online this Christmas for more.
Gift cards can be bought online or in shop and are the best for last minute shopping ideas. What it lacks in personality it makes up for in efficiency!
Nobody ever enjoyed Christmas shopping with their partner/child/friend ever in the history of the universe. Fact. So avoid the hassle of crying children, dehydrated partners and winey friends. Go it alone. Shopping early in the day, always alone, with your list in front of you and your budget in mind - and don't veer off your glorious path. P.S wear comfortable shoes.
Driving to Belfast to save a few quid will be guaranteed to be stressful. So will entering into the planet sized department stores or shopping malls at 6pm on a Thursday. These unfamiliar territories will you leave you lost, exhausted and cause you to end up spending more on petrol, parking and what not. Keep it simple and shop locally. Local Christmas markets pop-up in all areas around Ireland in late November and December. Not only will you avoid the crazy crowds, the blaring christmas music, you’ll pick up a unique present for the special someone too.