It feels like only yesterday, the sun was shining and the kids were complaining of summer boredom. Today, on the other hand, the sky was grey, the wind was whistling and I saw my first holiday display at the local department store. Whether we are ready or not, the holidays are fast approaching and that means it’s time to get organized and ready for the hustle and bustle of a busy holiday season.
One of my favourite parts of the Christmas season is shopping. There is nothing better then walking through the aisle of my favourite store, listening to cheery Christmas carols being played on surround sound and searching for that perfect Christmas gift for a loved one. Where some people find it challenging, stressful and painful, I see it as an opportunity to show my loved one that I was listening to their wants, observing the taste and thinking of them when they weren’t around. The only downside is I can get carried away! Sometimes, my heart is bursting with some many gift ideas, that my wallet is left empty.
This year, I am determined to shop smartly and save some dough while still providing a fun and magical Christmas for my friends and family. Here is my suggestions.
5 Tips for saving money this Holiday
1. Set a budget – Before you begin your shopping escapade, sit down and figure out what you can afford to spend this holiday season. Buying big and elaborate gifts may feel great at the time, but come January you’ll be swimming in credit card bills and debt. What I like to do is, create a budget near the end of September and begin putting a little bit of money aside from my paycheck each pay. When Christmas shopping time rolls around, I have a little nest egg that I can use will out stretching the current pay to the max.
2. Make a list – One of the easiest ways to get carried away during the holidays is shopping without a list. I remember one year, I shopped blindly. Whenever I saw something for a particular person, I would buy it. When I eventually sat down and reviewed all the items I had, I found that I had bought too many for one person, while totally neglecting another. What I do now is write out all the people I need to buy for (friends, family, mailman, teachers, etc.), then I write a suggested item beside their name. When I go shopping, I know what I want to buy and it’s easier to stick to a budget.
3. Shop the sales – If you are looking for a particular item, watch fliers, ads and specials Black Friday and Cyber Monday to save you money. Although, I have never shopped on Black Friday/Cyber Monday, I have many friends and family members who have achieved great success buying items they want for rock bottom prices. Warning! Be sure to do you research! Make sure you know what you are buying and if it is really a steal. Low prices on these days don’t always mean great quality.
4. Price Match – Price matching is everywhere these days! Why shop at three stores, when one store will match the lowest prices of the rest! Save time, gas and money to achieve the same result.
5. Get a REDcard – It isn’t surprising from past posts that I love Target! I do a lot of my holiday shopping there! This year, I’m saving even more money when shopping at Target with the REDcard.
Target Canada offers a REDcard program that allows Canadian shoppers to save 5% every day on already low prices at Target stores using either a REDcard debit or credit card. When I first heard about this program I didn’t realize how easy it was to get or how much I would save on a regular basis. For months, I avoided the Target REDcard program because I thought it was a credit card program only. The last thing I needed was another credit card in my wallet offering false promises of usable money. When I found out that not only did the Target REDcard have the option of a credit card, but also a debit card option, I began researching it more thoroughly.
The next time I was at Target, I inquired about their debit card program! To my surprised it was so easy to sign up! You don’t have to be a RBC customer or open a new Target bank account to sign up, instead, you fill out some basic information, enter in your current banking information (easily found on a cheque!) and in two weeks your card is sent to you! The savings are applied right at time of purchase! It pains me to think that I had been giving up 5% savings on almost all of my past purchases. With Halloween alone, I could have saved so much! Better yet, Target has a special offer New REDcard holders to give you extra savings to start off your holiday shopping! New REDcard holders get a special one‑time coupon good for an extra 5% off in addition to your everyday 5% REDcard savings, if approved before November 10! Get your card today!
If you are looking to save money this Holiday season, I highly recommend you check out the Target REDcard debit card and Credit card program. For more information, read up on the Rules or FAQ. You will be happy that you did!!