Early Christmas Shopping

It’s the time of the year that many of us are gearing towards the holidays. It is always one of the special months of the year, if not the most. December is the single month that we tend to spend the most in the entire year.

In our homes, we decorate, put up a Christmas tree, and lights. We also prepare gifts for our families, relatives, friends, and co-workers. A month prior to December, many are waiting for Black Friday Sale which is usually happening at the end of November to snap sweet deals and discounted items such as appliances, furniture, clothing, and toys etc. In general, the public will look at this day as an opportunity to grab products that are on sale or at a bargain as Christmas presents.

However, there are also a few that have been accustomed to last minute shopping and I for one have been a culprit with this behavior in the past due to busy work schedules or just lack of time management. Last minute shopping as always is very costly!

Is the month of December something to get excited about? 

Absolutely! This is the time when families, friends, and co-workers find time to get together whether at home or outside with co-workers. Moreover, this year might even be extra special as many of us who are now fully vaccinated are able to convene in a slightly bigger crowd, something that we have not been able to do in the last year.

However, the effects of overspending during these holidays if we are not careful will haunt us once we receive our credit card statements late January or early February.

How can we lessen the impact of these spending behaviors?

These are few money saving tips that I’ve learned over the years so that I won’t get involved in the mad dash of buying something in the run up for the Christmas holidays: 

  1. Create a budget and write down the amount that you intend to spend for Christmas decorations, gifts, and presents. Do not spend more than you have to. 
  2. As much as we love to decorate a real tree during this yuletide season, we settle for a reusable plastic Christmas tree which we have been re-decorating for the last 5 years. After the holidays we just tidy it up and keep it in a safe place in our garage to be used again the following year. If I have remembered correctly, my wife bought this at a thrift shop together with those other decorations during one spring time. We saved a ton of money by not buying every year and also not putting these decorations to waste.
  3. We also try not to tear or rip apart those paper bags where you get your gifts from and reuse it for the following holidays or any other occasions.
  4. When we had our previous home, we also decorated it with outdoor led lights surrounding our house. While we sold some of these lights coming from a big house, we still kept a few boxes which we can still use in our cozy little home.
  5. The best time to go Christmas shopping in my opinion is January and February after the holidays or during summer months. And if you are not picky, you may be able to find these decorations in thrift shops or from FB marketplace at a fraction of the price.
  6. However, If you really want to get new decorations, appliances, clothing, or presents for the holidays, there are also ways you can save a bit of money and get a bargain if you do these two little tricks. Firstly, apply for a great cash back credit card or points reward card. I personally prefer cash back credit cards as I want to receive cash or checks by just using my credit card. From personal experience one of the best cashback credit cards in the market is Tangerine World Mastercard. Not to mention, Tangerine World Mastercard’s great features include but are not limited to: it pays 2% cash back on your 3 chosen categories, No annual fee, and credit your cash back to your savings account every month. Follow this link for the credit cards that we are using and in our possession. If you are interested and would like to apply for the Tangerine World Mastercard through GCR using this link you will also receive $110 cashback upon approval. This promo ends Nov. 30 so better hurry!
  7. Taking it a bit further, before purchasing something online we also check on these two popular cashback websites: Great Canadian Rebates (GCR) and Rakuten.ca if they also offer cash back points. Both these websites are great with booking hotels, flights, and holidays. GCR will credit your cash back once it reaches a certain threshold. I opted for EFT to my account once it reaches $12.00. In contrast, I will request Rakuten for checks every couple of months. Therefore, if you are using your cash back credit card, going through these websites you will also get separate checks from these two cashback websites. Essentially, killing two birds with one stone. During this pandemic, many of us resorted to online shopping. If we continue to do this more frequently, those cash back checks add up over time.
  8. If you have a young family with children and knowing that you have already accumulated so much clothes and toys, there should be no harm in asking your family and loved ones that you prefer gifts in monetary value instead of material things which you could put away for children’s savings and college fund.
  9. It goes the same for adults too. I’ve already told my wife and our children not to bother buying clothes or other material gifts for Christmas. I am okay not getting anything. I don’t need it. In fact, I haven’t bought anything new clothing for myself for over two years. I still wear the same clothes I had five years ago. What is most important to me is if  we can find time to get together as a family during these holidays. 
  10. Finally, we are also conscientious in not overspending and over preparing too much food during Christmas family gatherings. We don’t want to waste any food as much as we can. And if any of you who have read my previous blog post,  I usually collect and save my PC Optimum points so that we can have free groceries for our Christmas dinner. As of today I have collected 172,000 points, enough to have a free Christmas family dinner.

 

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More Reading:

One of my recent blog posts highlighted our mistakes in buying our first home in Canada. With those lessons learned we felt we were equipped with much-needed information this time around buying our recent home using leverage instead of selling our investments to use as a down deposit. In doing so, we improved our total current net worth without dipping into our long term investments.

Earlier this week we renewed our home insurance. We made a massive savings by switching our home insurance to Square One up to 30%. If you are looking to renew your home insurance or for a new property, why not check them out and see for yourself if you can also get a huge discount on your home insurance.

Moreover, we also made dramatic changes in our lifestyle and embraced minimalism hence we perceived that living less is more. A few simple money saving tips we have done are reducing our cell phone bills and switching to No fee bank accounts.  Similarly, I find dividend investing easy and more fun and you can choose a no fee trading account either as a new or seasoned investor.

Finally, when we are employed, we receive a regular income and a feeling of financial security. However, jobs are not guaranteed and can be also lost and taken away beyond our control as many have experienced during this pandemic due to an abrupt closure of businesses. Therefore, it is very important to generate multiple sources of income to protect ourselves from these unfortunate events.

 

DISCLAIMER: Everything I have shared in my blog is wholly related to my personal experience. It. is for entertainment and educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice.

This site may contain affiliate links and I may receive a bonus if you take an action after clicking one of those links at NO additional cost to you. Similarly, you may check my recommendations and by using our referral link this will help me maintain this site and encourage me to create more money saving and investment tips. Thank you so much for all your support.

 

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