Christmas is an expensive time of year as we all know and despite the economic climate having reached a point where people have some kind of disposable income again, many are still not in the position to spend hundreds on their loved ones as they may have done once before.
While setting a budget for presents is all well and good, it doesn’t stop our children particularly from asking for the latest and greatest releases onto the market whether it’s the latest smartphone, a winter coat from one of the popular brands or tickets to go and see their favourite team or band play live. We never like having to say no to them, watching their expressions change, and having to say “I can’t afford it” is one of the worst feelings no matter what the situation is around the conversation.
However, saying “I can’t afford it” doesn’t always have to mean no. It may mean that you can’t afford to head out and blow your hard-earned and hard-saved cash on a new item with an elaborate price tag, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find an alternative or even get the same item for a fraction of the price with a little bit of research, and here are five ways in which you can do just that based around one of the most popular sectors of the market each Christmas – fashion:
Buy Used or Second Hand
In the past many would have been put off by the terms ‘used’ or ‘second hand’, but ask yourself this – in what class would you place your car when you bought it? The chances are that it wasn’t fresh out of the factory and yet you still thought it was the best thing since sliced bread or the best model you could get with your budget. Shopping for clothes and accessories should be the same.
Okay, you’re not going to buy anything with serious amounts of damage or holes in, but there is no reason you can’t buy from online consignment stores including Swap.com or online auction sites such as eBay where people just like you are looking for bargains and deals.
Think about the conversations you might have had with friends throughout the year. Maybe they’ve mentioned how they love a particular top, dress or pair of shoes that you own and then consider whether you feel the same about them. If they fall into the category where you could either take it or leave it, or could simply let them go, then it may be a cost-effective solution to wrap the item up for your friend or loved one and give it to them this Christmas as a gift. Sure, it might not be brand new, but friends swap clothes all the time ahead of nights out so it’s no different really.
Vouchers and Discounts
We all love a bargain, and thanks to the Internet and the technology used in stores nowadays we are starting to see the kind of offers we can use as opposed to money off driving experiences when we don’t even drive for example. Keep an eye out for discount codes available over the web which you can enter at the online checkout which can save you significant sums of money and a lot of the top fashion retailers will use this service to save customers money which will encourage them to shop with them over anyone else.
There are now an increasing number of outlet stalls and malls appearing in cities which sell items you might not see in the high street stores today, but they’re still perfectly good, brand new items complete with the tags which might just be from Spring-Summer 2013 instead of Spring-Summer 2014.
A final tip is possibly the most important – set a budget before you start buying any presents. You may have four people in your family to buy for this year, so work out how much money you have to spend and then divide it equally among them. Then, stick to it! It’s easy to fall into a trap whereby you purchase three items for one family member, and one for another so you think you’ll just get a little extra something for the person with less presents. However, it could be that you’ve spent exactly the same amount on the two people in which case they’re not missing out at all, so avoid falling into a trap which means you spend more than your budget.