The Christmas Shopping List. An integral part of the holiday season and your holiday spending budget! For those of you who wing it every holiday season when shopping for presents, you’ll find this article insightful and inspirational! The Christmas Shopping List is a list of all the items you need to buy and spending that needs to be done for the holidays.
This list is your guide. Without it, you run the risk of overspending and failing to get what you actually need. While everyone’s Christmas shopping list will look a little different, there are certain parts that should be included in every list! Check out the 6 parts of a successful Christmas shopping list!
6 Parts of a Successful Christmas Shopping List
#1 The Item
As obvious as this part of a successful Christmas Shopping List is, it’s crucial that I call it out. Sometimes, we fail to think about the items we want to get for the people we love. This usually always leads to overspending because you end up buying more things than you need.
Before you begin your holiday shopping, take some time to think about what you want to purchase for those people on your list. Going to the store with an item in mind will not only save you time, but help you avoid buying additional things you don’t need.
#2 The Store
Once you know what you want to purchase, you can start researching where to pick up the item. You can even try to get the item online to avoid going anywhere! I recommend you shop online for your holiday gifts – helps minimize the temptation to buy more things when you’re at the store.
Another reason to include “The Store” as part of your Christmas shopping list is because you’ll have the opportunity to research which particular store carries the item. Imagine having to go to 3 different Best Buys for a particular TV when you could’ve known where to go initially! Save yourself the time, the stress and the gas money by researching your stores ahead of time.
#3 The Recipient
When crafting your Christmas Shopping List, make sure a recipient is identified for each item on your list. If you want to create your list out of sequence, you can start with a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for, then add the additional information for each. This is an effective strategy if you always seem to forget about certain people.
If your boyfriend’s cousin needs a gift, thinking about them ahead of time can make it a lot easier to avoid last minute spending and stress-shopping!
Including “The Recipient” also helps you to see how many gifts you’re buying for people. Maybe your sister doesn’t need 3 different presents! You can save money or think through more intentional gifts – a win-win!
#4 The Amount
When I would create Christmas Shopping Lists in the past, I would forget to include the amount. This ALWAYS led me to spend more than I wanted to! When you know what the items cost ahead of time, you can prep your budget accordingly. Not only that, you can give yourself more time to save what you need for your shopping trips.
Another important reason to include “The Amount” is to help you assess if you’re spending too much on certain people. If you’re doing a gift exchange with a $20 limit, but your list is gifting a $50 item, you get to save money and think through a different gift!
#5 The Price Limit
Remember that episode of The Office where Dwight would buy out the most popular kids’ toy of the year and re-sell them (at an inflated price) to parents who waited until the last minute?! Well, avoid that scenario by shopping ahead of time, or by giving yourself price limits for individual items and spending as a whole.
If there’s a surcharge for an item and you know your limit, you’ll know if you can purchase that item or find another gift idea.
The price limit also applies to all your holiday spending. If you attend holiday parties, gift stocking stuffers, or host Christmas dinner, make sure you have a total spending limit to stick to for the holidays. Just because you’re good with spending on your presents doesn’t mean you can’t go over budget in other holiday spending categories!
#6 The Back Up Item
The final part of a successful Christmas Shopping List is the back up item. This is a gift that will serve as a back up idea if your initial gift idea is sold out. Having a backup identified ahead of time helps you avoid the stress of trying to find another present at the last minute. Ideally you won’t need your back up idea, but it’s much better to need it and have it then to need it and not have it!
I challenge you to move into the next holiday shopping season with the ultimate Christmas Shopping List! Make sure it includes the six parts listed above and you’ll be in great shape! Make sure you check out CGS Podcast Episode #45: How to Prep Your Budget for the Holidays so you can prepare for spending accordingly!
Do you always make a list when shopping for the holidays? What helps you stick to it? Share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!