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Grow your money

December 07, 2018

Holiday Shopping Tips to Avoid Budget Shock

No matter what you see on TV or social media, Christmas should not be used as an excuse to splurge or to forget important financial responsibilities.

Gifts are a customary way to show love, thought, and appreciation for others during the Christmas season. However, it is not a reason to spend all of your 13th month pay or live out a crazy rich shopping fantasy. Here are top tips to avoid being an implusive spender and instead, become a smart shopper this yuletide season.

  1. Only start shopping after identifying a gift giving budget.

    Christmas gifts are rarely a part of one’s daily, weekly, and monthly budget. This expense surprisingly presents itself come December which could easily lead to mindless and unthoughtful spending, leading to a financial shock. The impact is usually realized at the beginning of the new year when new expenses also come in.

    Be honest with yourself and set a practical, reasonable amount that you can spend for gift shopping. Think of gifts as a thoughtful gesture of appreciation. Meaningful gifts don’t need to be expensive just to impress.
  1. Choose useful gifts that motivate and inspire

    Examples of presents that go beyond expensive novelty are:
    • Second hand books that can give loved ones a break from gadgets or inspire personal development
    • Pantry or kitchen staples that can encourage home cooking and healthy eating habits
    • Practical exercise products like a jump rope, yoga mat, or resistance bands for fitness motivation
    • Bills organizer, an “ipon challenge” coin bank, or an envelope system to spark financial discipline
    • Small bottles of essential oil rubs or balms for everyday stress relief and wellness

      The more time you spend thinking of similar gifts like these, the less you fall into shopping traps and last-minute presents that might not be put to use at all.
  1. Set a specific date for shopping and identify the best place to do so. 

    Regardless of shopping physically in malls, bazaars or virtually online – only shop when you have made the time for it. Book a date in your calendar to focus & complete your Christmas list. Smart shopping entails plenty of decision-making and calculation so it is important that you have enough time and head space for this. 

  2. Bring the right shopping tools.

    These includes your well-thought of Christmas shopping list, a spacious shopping bag to help you carry everything that needs to be, your budget in cash or debit card, gift cards or online coupons, and loyalty, rewards, or store cards to earn cashbacks.


No matter what you see on TV or social media, Christmas should not be used as an excuse to splurge or to forget important financial responsibilities. Give yourself a challenge to be an extra-ordinary giver that can spark joy and love in humble yet meaningful gifts that you can cheerfully give without regrets.

Have a bright and merry Christmas!

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