Last minute shopping before the Holidays is a total nightmare. You know what I’m talking about – otherwise normal people engaged in an epic “Game of Thrones” level battle over the last waffle iron type stuff.
As if that’s not convincing enough, here are five more reasons to get your holiday shopping done early this year.
1. Get Your Family What They Really Want
You’ve waited until the last-minute to find the perfect gift for that special someone – and guess what? IT’S SOLD OUT. IN EVERY STORE. ACROSS AMERICA. You’re that person; the one who shows up with an assortment of items hastily purchased in the check-out line at Target. Don’t be that person. Shopping a couple of months in advance ensures that everyone on your list gets what they really want this holiday season.
2. Shop Online and Watch the Savings Add Up
Online shopping is a beautiful thing, people. Most online retailers now use search alerts, which allow you to be notified as soon as an item matching your criteria pops up in inventory (ensuring you get to that hard-to-find gift first). Just like Kermit, I’m into being green (and saving it) so my number one rule is don’t buy new. This way, you get the big-ticket item online at a fraction of what it would cost new in stores. With all the extra cash you saved by shopping online, you can fulfill that life-long dream of rolling around on a pile of gold like Scrooge McDuck (or maybe that’s just me).
3. Enjoy Exclusive Online Deals
Most online retailers start going coupon crazy right before major holidays. Make sure you join their rewards programs and email lists to start cashing in those coupons. Also consider all those blogs you read – about a month or two before the holiday season, bloggers start putting out their gift guides, which often include exclusive reader discounts, giveaways and coupon codes. Finally, don’t forget the biggest online shopping day of the year – Cyber Monday! While deals go fast, Cyber Monday is often a great way to save big on hard to find items.
4. Save Time (and Your Sanity) by Shopping Early
Every single year, I wait until the last minute to do my shopping, and every single year, I end up being that haggard person in the mall at the eleventh hour trying to decide what to get my dad (fathers are notoriously impossible to shop for). I’ve made these mistakes so you, wise reader, don’t have to! When you shop early for the holidays, you can take your time, especially if you also shop online. Instead of running frantically from store to store on Christmas Eve, you can smugly sip your peppermint mocha as the snow softly falls outside – because you wisely finished your shopping early.
5. Spread the Gift Expense
The most festive time of the year is also the most expensive. Instead of spending all that hard-earned cash all at once, treat your bank account to an early holiday gift and do your shopping early. By shopping early, you can spread out the extra expense, budgeting a little extra each month towards holiday shopping. This will allow you to be a generous yet frugal gift giver. Spreading your expenses out and wrapping up early holiday shopping can free you up for Giving Tuesday – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, in order to give thanks and give back to others in the spirit of the season.
The holidays should be fun, festive and stress-free. Your holiday season will stay that way when you shop early and online using the tips above. Shopping online is safe, quick and easy – and if you’re still unsure about entering your credit card info online, use these safety guidelines to ensure your financial information stays secure. When the holidays roll around, you’ll have extra money on hand, and since you were a savvy shopper, you’ll be able to treat yo self to a little extra holiday cheer.