If you still haven’t bought your Christmas gifts, there is very little time to regret it. But if you follow these six steps you still have a shot to make up for lost time and stick to your budget.
1. Set Your Emergency Plan
Time to make some quick decisions. Start by writing a list of people you need to shop for and note down possible gift options for each. If you are really out of ideas, write down names of stores where you could find something for them. You can also write down things they like the most, like their hobbies, their favorite colors, or their favorite activities. This could also be a good time to set your budget, so you don’t overspend.
2. Where? When? How?
Now that you have a gift list, you should have a slight idea which stores stock these items. During this process, consider the distance and time you are going to need to get there, so you know when to leave your house. If you have to make a number of stops, plan your route so as not to waste time or gas.
3. Consider the Best Commute Option
Public transport is probably the cheapest way to get around but not if it means you have to make numerous trips. If you are buying many things, particularly heavy items, you will definitely need a car. Make sure that your store choice has plenty of parking spaces during Christmas week.
4. Be Mindful When Choosing Your Shopping Companion
If you can ask someone else for help, do it. Time is money, and if you have a super savvy shopping companion they can help you make decisions faster. Not to mention, the trip will be much more fun for you. Make sure this person enjoys organized and responsible shopping – you don’t want to end up overspending on a whim.
5. Take a Quick Tour
Keep your tour around the store brief and focused. If you linger too long, it’s easy to be lured into an impromptu shopping spree but this is neither the time for window shopping nor retail therapy. Stick to your list, your written budget and your allotted time.
6. Gift Wrap and Personalized Card Messages
If you’re not the best gift wrapper out there, use gift wrapping services whenever possible. This will save you time and effort. Spare a little extra in your budget for presentation. It’s the nice touches make a Christmas gift that much more sentimental. While you wait for your gifts to be wrapped, use the time to buy cards and write nice personalized messages to your loved ones; it goes a long way.
Bonus: if you can find the gifts you’re looking for online and have access to a fast delivery shipping service, you are only one step away from finishing your task.