Whether you’re buying for yourself or on a holiday shopping roll, sometimes, it can be hard to spend wisely (hey, it happens to us, too). So with mall Santas slowly appearing and Black Friday mere days away, we want to help you set your holiday budget now.
Bookmark this page and come back to these five expert tips as you work your way down your ‘Nice’ list this season; your wallet will definitely thank us later:
1. Set a spending limit. “Base it on what you spent last season — credit card statements are a good guide,” Amanda Steinberg, founder of DailyWorth.com, tells PEOPLE StyleWatch. “Make a list of who you’re buying for, and figure out in advance what to spend on each person.”
2. Trim your list. “It’s not necessary to get gifts for friends you don’t see often,” says Jodi R.R. Smith, author of
The Etiquette Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Manners
. “Send a group email and suggest everyone get together for dinner and drinks instead. It’s less expensive, and so much more fun!”
3. Get in the know. “Sign up for stores’ e-blasts and follow them on Twitter and Facebook,” says Julia Scott, founder of bargainbabe.com. “To reward loyal followers, many shops offer special Web-only sales and discount codes.”
4. Stick to your budget. “Record each purchase using your phone’s note function or a handy app like Santa’s Little Helper,” says Steinberg. “This will help you stay on track and commit to your spending limit.”
5. Score free shipping. “Tons of brands are taking part in FreeShipping.org‘s ‘Free Shipping Day’ on December 17,” says Scott. “You can also save by sending virtual gift cards using sites like Wrapp.com and FriendGiftr.com.”
Tell us: How do you save money while shopping during the holidays?