Woman by Christmas TreeCredit: Gettyimages.com

Credit: Gettyimages.com

I know. I know. Christmas is not until December. However there is a reason I am discussing early Christmas shopping tips in August. You see, to avoid the frenzy of crowds, traffic, and a depleted bank account it will do you well to take in some tips on getting your Christmas shopping done the smart and savvy way right now.

1)      Shop year round. This is the number one tip if you want to avoid all of what I mentioned above. I don’t know about you, but trying to shop for all your family and friends in one month can often leave anyone…well…broke! Also waiting till December to do some last-minute shopping is a sure way to become a Scrooge mix with The Grinch dealing with rude people in a rush whether in store or driving. I set aside an affordable budget a month for gifts. That way when I come across a great deal whether online, in a shopping ad, or in the store on something that can potentially make a great gift, I will go ahead and buy the item, and save it till it is time to give the gift away. So if you do this each month, you will probably get all your shopping done by December. I only have three more people to shop for, and it isn’t even September yet! So while everybody is running around like a chicken with their heads cut off trying to find a gift for their loved ones, I will be at home enjoying peace and serenity. Also, during that month I will have money in the bank because I took care of shopping throughout the year. So without guilt I could take a vacation, go to a spa, pay off debt, or just save that money for the month of December because everyone else is already taken care of early on. 

2)      Shop Online. Deals come very often if you sign up for daily deal websites like Groupon.com. I often find great deals online that doesn’t require me to leave my house to buy a great a gift. I found a voucher for a 30 minute massage for only $17, $9 value movie tickets for only $2, $25 restaurant gift certificates for only $3, and many more great deals that made great gifts. Not only were the gifts of good quality, but I didn’t break the bank. I usually pay under $25 for each gift. However the gifts were of great value.  Gone are the days of standing hours in line outside Wal-Mart at 3am in the morning, hoping to get your hands on a hot ticket electronic that they only have five in stock. You can take advantage of great deals to gift anytime from the comfort of your own home as long as you have access to the internet. 

3)      Join reward websites that you can redeem points for cash, gifts, or gift cards easy like Swagbucks.com. What in the world is “swagbucks” you might ask? Swagbucks.com is a reward website that rewards points that they refer to as “swagbucks” for basically doing what you already do online. They reward swagbucks for searching for information in a search bar, playing online games, watching online videos, taking polls, and many more. It is very easy to win a certain amount of swagbucks 2-5 times per day, and they rack up quite nicely. I went from 5 swagbucks to 250 swagbucks in a week! I personally gain swagbucks from taking polls and searching. Instead of going directly to a website, I search for it and you can gain rewards anywhere from about 7-50 swagbucks doing so.  You get one swagbuck a day for each poll you take, therefore that is about 30 swagbucks in a month’s time! Did I mention that it is totally free to sign up and do? There are other ways to get swagbucks that requires you spend money like online shopping, but that is totally optional. 450 swagbucks will get you a $5 amazon gift card. I am sure you see where I am going with this, right? Yes! Holiday shopping is where I am going with this. So let them rack up till about the end of November or beginning of December, redeem your points for gift cards and do step number 2! If there was an easy button, this would be the time to click it.

So as you can see, Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be a time where you either gain grey hair or lose some hair due to pulling it out.  Following these tips would be very beneficial and wise to make shopping for your loved ones stress-free this holiday season.