Over the past few years of economic weakness the average family simply is not able to purchase clothing items at full retail prices as they were before the economic crisis began. Indeed, one of the items that many people would like to buy but cannot afford at the full retail price are polo shirts. Even if you take a drive down to your local outlet you will find that the prices remain very high.One viable option to buy discount shirts is to turn to the Internet and online stores to find sales. Basically, you have two options for buying polos online at cheap prices. The first is to visit the sites of the major off-line retail department stores. These kinds of stores include Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Sears, Kohl’s, JC Penney’s and Dillard’s. You may also try discount stores and warehouse clubs such as BJ’s Wholesale Club, K-mart, Target and Wal-Mart.Most of the stores run clearance sales at various times of the year including Labor Day, Independence Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. The biggest shopping day of the year where you will find the best deals is Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving when retailers lower their prices the most in advance of the Christmas shopping season.In addition to finding online sales at traditional retailers you can also find some really good deals for shirts on the major shopping websites including eBay and Amazon. On Amazon you can narrow your search by a large list criteria. For example, you can search by brand including Ralph Lauren, Gap, Nautica, Izod, Old Navy or Tommy Hilfiger. Amazon offers a useful price range functionality where you can narrow your search to $25 to $50 and $25 and under. Furthermore, you can select specific ranges of discounts being offered from 10% to 70%.eBay is a huge help for people seeking to buy clothing at discount prices online. The biggest attraction to eBay for many shoppers is that you can buy shirts in lots at wholesale prices. A lot sale is an auction in which a seller offers a large quantity of shirts at bulk prices. This is where you can find some really good deals on high-quality brands such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.Another fantastic utility on eBay’s website to help you find the lowest prices is the advanced search function. Here, you can key in the exact brand that you would like to purchase, the highest price you are willing to pay, whether you would like to bid on an auction or use the PayPal Buy It Now feature and whether you would like free shipping.
When shopping on the Internet there are many things to consider, following are some guidelines to keep your experiences a positive one.Shop online, or brick and mortar!Many people shop at brick and mortar stores because they feel shipping charges only raise their total cost, however, unless you live in a high density populous like a major city, most often shipping charges cost less than the gasoline required to travel to and back from a brick and mortar store, especially when looking for bargains, which would probably require a stop off at more than two stores for price comparison, and even then when you find the best price, (even if you researched your favorite stores online) you run the risk of a fuel expense only to find your item not in stock, so by the time you actually come home with your item, your fuel expense was probably greater than most fast shipping costs would be. There is also the consideration of time, I live in a rural area where the nearest grocery store is about 12 miles away, and the discount big box retail stores, over 15 miles away, with an average speed limit of 50 mph, it would take approximately 20-25 minutes travel in each direction, around 20 more minutes to identify and locate the specific item(s) in the store, then there is the line at the check out area, depending what time of day/evening you go, it could be as little as 5 minutes and up to 30, as I have waited in check out lines at big box retail stores, so online shopping is not only green, ecologically, but you get more than an hour and a half of your life freed up to do other more desirable activities!Is it safe to shop online?Many people still hold on to the idea that online shopping is very risky, however with the implementation of a number of encryption techniques, your personal, and credit card information, is quite secure, but should you still feel a measure of insecurity inputting your credit card information at a website, there are additional steps you can take to insure zero liability on your part. Most credit cards offer a zero liability rider on their cards for any fraudulent charges if you pay a small monthly fee, usually after a 30 – 90 day free trial, in which case any charges that show up on your statement that are not your authorized purchases, will be unconditionally credited back to your card, and an investigation will most likely ensue to try to prevent a reoccurrence.Once you get past the apprehension of credit card fraud, there are a number of practices that will ensure a positive experience.Is the lowest price the best deal?When price comparing different e-commerce stores there are some things to consider, is the item brand new, refurbished, re-packed, a factory second, or even the name brand that is stated, these are all important factors to consider when comparing prices, and many sites will state what grade of merchandise they carry if it is good for business, for instance, I have seen prices for a specific digital camera range from $99.95 to $279.95 for the exact same camera and the msrp was $229.00, so I ask myself, why so high, or so low, if I choose the lowest price am I getting what I would get if I paid the high price? Well obviously the highest price is not one’s first choice, but here are some answers, the higher prices might be due to a poor choice of wholesaler or distributor, or a lack of buying power due to low volume sales, or a high overhead that needs to be considered by the merchant, or maybe they are also brick and mortar store and do not want to severely undercut the prices in the actual store with their online prices. Now when evaluating low prices consider buying American made, because there are a number of foreign manufacturers that produce cheap knock offs of the original, which are available at much lower prices than their American counterparts, also check the item listing for very small,(fine print) or similar colored text (almost invisible), stating that it is either refurbished or a factory second, and when buying branded items make sure the item picture reflects the advertised brand name, and is not an inferior knock off, this happens most when shopping for accessories like picture cards, removable mass storage devices, and other types of digital media, and similar accessories.Something else to look out for is the price of shipping, and the geographical location of merchant, for instance, compare the shipping charges for the same item on a few sites, that are located in the same area, if one price is much higher, they might be advertising a low price but make it up in the way of a handling charge added to the shipping charge, also if you narrowed down your choice of sites to just a few, then buy from the one geographically close, which will minimize the shipping charge, an example would be if you live in California, and your narrowed down sites are located in New York, Dallas, and Seattle, the lowest shipping charges would likely be from Seattle, now if there is a site also in California, you might still consider the Seattle site to save on sales tax, provided the company does not also have a physical store in California as well, because then they will also be required to charge sales tax, on the positive side, some merchants might show extremely low prices on items that have been discontinued by the manufacturer, and the merchants want to move excess inventory before they lose their profit margin all together, so checking with the manufacturer, if the item is current, will explain such a low price, or they might be a “wholesale to the public” type merchant with tremendous buying power, and warehouse space in which case the savings are passed to you, another explanation for low prices can be the use of drop shippers, and warehouse co-ops, which reduces the overhead for online merchants because they do not need to tie up thousands of dollars in inventory to make minimums, and the expense to house that inventory, all of which can contribute to lower prices, along with being in a very competitive retail venue.Feedback and ratings!There are many opportunities to give feedback or rate your experience with a site. What do you choose, a highly rated store with higher prices, or a store with little or no rating with lower prices, well I for one have many times, passed on offering a rating, by not responding to the email sent, just because of the lack of time, so these should be considered on the lighter side, for instance, a high number of ratings may not all be positive, or they might have lost sight of a customers value because business is so good they no longer feel the need to go the extra mile to make or keep a satisfied customer, on the other hand, no ratings at all might only mean it is a reasonably new store and has not received the customer count of the big guys, but my thought is this, give the little guy a shot, in their pursuit of sales they are more likely to go the extra mile to win over a customer, and possibly offer an incentive to return to them for future purchases.How to search for your purchase!I would recommend getting as much information about a product or products from the original manufacturer’s website, they usually offer the most comprehensive information about their products and usually a suggested retail price, but generally do not sell direct, but instead provide a list of sites you can purchase from, with that said, consider this, after visiting the manufacturer’s site you probably made the decision as to which product model you want to purchase, when doing a search engine search, include the make and model in your search query, rather then a general search term like “fish finder” or “digital camera” this will accomplish a few things, first it will reduce the number of results, and make the results you do get the most relevant, then search engines usually, under these circumstances, will provide a “price compare” link, for instance Google will provide Froogle results, or a Yahoo! Search might provide a Yahoo! Shopping link to a price compared list of possible merchants, and then there are the links like Shopzilla, Price grabber, Next tag, or shop.com, to name a few, these links all provide easy access to price comparing, but be advised that many of these results are “sponsored” which means merchants paid to show up in that search result, and may not be the only relevant sites to choose from!Where do I go to shop for many items?Many e-commerce sites are pretty specialized, in as much as they offer a comprehensive selection of the type of merchandise they specialize in, a metal detector store for metal detectors and accessories, or a camera store for digital cameras, picture cards, and batteries, etcetera. Although these stores often have the most competitive prices they might not be your best choice when shopping for many different items, that’s where your Internet department stores might be a better choice, and I will tell you why, if you were to buy a metal detector for your Nephew, and a digital camera for your Mom, and a GPS fish finder for your Dad, and a paintball gun for your Brother, and some jewelry for your Niece, buying these items each from a different store will not be as cost efficient as taking some time to find a department type store that has all these different items for offer, even if their prices are a little bit higher, because all the shipping will be calculated by the total weight of the order, not rounding up each item to the next whole pound as when purchased from separate stores.May all your Internet shopping experiences be positive ones!
Learning how to use the “Limited Offer” or just the word “Limited” in your Photography Business Marketing can make a huge difference.You can be the best photographer in the world, but if your marketing stinks, you’re pretty much out of business. You need to constantly focus on testing and improving your marketing forever.I want to show you a very effective technique that small businesses don’t often use. This can be done over and over again creating a snowball effect that will continue to grow for years.Using Limited Sessions Or Limited Time Offers:When using these limits in your photography business, it will create what we call (Scarcity) in the marketing world. This will help get people to Take Action and schedule their appointment or buy those extra prints for more profits.This has been practiced by every successful business and it works. Why is “Black Friday” the biggest shopping day of the year? Because we’ve been trained through marketing that it’s the biggest shopping day.Why can a store offer these special prices from 5AM until 10AM? They create the specials and remove them at 10AM. The specials don’t just disappear, they are removed by the company that created them. They make up the rules.So now you might be asking ” How can you add this to your photography business marketing”?Here’s one example that will show you the potential.Offer a special theme day for your studio that you’re only having on a certain weekend. Your studio has 15 limited spots available for this special weekend and once they’re gone…they’re gone.You should start advertising this at least 30 days before the event, so you can build up the excitement and sell out your 15 spots.The most effective way to market this strategy is through email marketing. This way you can send out the announcement 30 days before the event. Then you should email again 2 times per week letting everyone know about the event. Most importantly, you want to email them when and if it Sells Out.This is very important because now you’re training your prospects and customers for the next event. If they waited until the last minute for this event and then were told it was sold out, they’ll call earlier next time.You will find that the more events you have like this that sell out, the faster you will book up at the next event. Remember, your training your list just like we’ve been trained about Black Friday.I want to finish by saying that you always want to be honest and upfront and give a reason why it’s limited. In this case, you can only take 15 appointments in 2 days. They are spaced 1 hour apart for their convenience and because you like to allow plenty of studio time for each client’s sitting.Be creative and learn to love marketing your photography business and the rewards will be endless.Happy Shooting!:-)
Are you getting ready for your holiday shopping or are you neck deep in it already? Along with the post Thanksgiving holiday shopping came some interesting statistics in the news about our shopping habits. Thinking about budgets, credit cards, and cash typically accompanies many holiday shopping plans, and rightly so. According to the November 20, 2010 Suze Orman personal finance show holiday shoppers will spend an average of $689.00 during the season. They will also spend an additional $107.50 on themselves.Another interesting story was the increase in online shopping. This year you may have noticed many more online sales and pre-Black Friday specials offered on retailers’ websites. According to the National Retail Federation: “The holiday season may be merry and bright for online retailers, according to results of Shop.org’s eHoliday Study conducted by BIGresearch. Nearly two-thirds of retailers (63.8%) expect their company’s online sales to grow by fifteen percent or more compared to last holiday season, up from less than half of retailers (45.8%) who had those expectations last year”.Backing up the claim that retailers are planning on a healthy increase in online revenue was the fact presented by NBC news on November 26, 2010. They stated that people who shop online spend 24.6% more than those shopping in stores! Certainly, that has to be enticing retailers to lure us onto their websites during the holidays!Now that we have reviewed how much we are spending and where we are spending it consider this statistic offered by the Suze Orman show as well. 13 million people are still paying for the purchases they charged during the holidays in 2009!The LA Times reported that 23 million people will do last minute shopping on Christmas Eve in 2010. “According to a survey released Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers, 23.1 million consumers, or 15%, plan to shop on the day before Christmas.”The offers presented to us may look very appealing, but it is important to keep perspective about your own economic well being. Paying interest on your purchases for a year, or longer, could easily evaporate the savings you found during the sales. Consider only buying the deals that fall within your budget and that you have been saving and planning for, or find other gift giving alternatives.
It is no surprise to anyone that the overall economy is greatly struggling. Each and every day we hear economic numbers suggesting that the economy is slowly recovering but it seems to be the case that the jobs market is not. The unemployment rate has remained above 9% for quite some time and there are millions of Americans who are currently out of a job. With this being the case there is a very good chance that Americans will cut back greatly when it comes to spending during the Christmas holiday shopping season. Rather than purchasing those expensive Christmas gifts like they used to it may be the case that in 2010 retailers see much less business during the months of November and December.One way to save money during the Christmas holiday season is to wait until the last minute or even after Christmas to find the best sales and deals. By waiting until the last minute there is a possibility that retailers will see sales numbers greatly down which in turn will cause them to offer great discounts for products they still have on the shelves. Unfortunately, this could come to backfire on many American families as some of the more popular items could be sold out. That being said it is often worth it to take a chance to see what deals are available late in the Christmas holiday shopping season.When it comes to truly saving a great amount of money many Americans wait until after Christmas sales are available. One of the biggest retailers in America is WalMart and this retailer always offers great deals on toys during the entire year. The deals that are available during the year are quite cheap but after Christmas sales allow customers to find toys for even lower prices. These low prices could help customers save quite a bit of money which in turn will help them get through the early part of 2011. Before make any assumptions it is always a wise decision to do research and see what toy sales and deals will be available on December 26 and afterwards. It tends to be the case that WalMart only offers sales and deals on the toys that are not in basic departments. One easy way to find this out is to ask a manager where a specific item in his on the normal shelf. If there is not a normal shelf the Natalie could be discounted after the holiday shopping season.
The good news is that the Holiday Season is a highly responsive time of year. However, as you know, it is a very competitive time, too. Here are some marketing ideas – both online and offline – to ensure that your current customers continue to shop with you and that new customers start shopping as well.So just how do you overcome short attention spans and deal seeking, fickle customer nature? Many of these ideas are obvious, but many are also often overlooked. Try these holiday helpers:Free Shipping – We’ll just get this one out of the way first. Free shipping has become a holiday staple with a majority of retailers. And, the majority of shoppers are most responsive to this offer. Seventy-five percent of shoppers prefer to shop with online retailers offering free shipping. (Source: Forrester Research).Start Early – Overcome procrastination and beat Black Friday to the punch with “early bird” offers. Also, note peak dates and give customers a “heads up” on upcoming offers so they’ll keep your offers in mind versus your competitors’ offers. Peak dates for 2010:
October & November – Previews, Pre-Orders, Limited Quantities, and Early Bird specials
Friday 11/26 > Monday 11/29 – also known as Black Friday > Cyber Monday
Friday 12/10 > Wednesday 12/17 – includes standard shipping service delivery expiration
Tuesday 12/11 – getting it there with 2-3 day shipping service
Wednesday 12/22 – getting it there with 1-2 day service
Thursday 12/23 – getting it there overnight
Friday 12/24 – Email gift certificates
Saturday 12/25 – Christmas
Monday 12/27 – After holiday sale
Well-Coordinated Campaigns – Many missed opportunities occur because campaigns are disjointed. Focusing your message and consistently executing it in all channels will drive customer response. Use a master campaign calendar to ensure all your media singing the same song-Search engine marketing, website, email, affiliates, comparison shopping engines, online advertising, catalog/direct mail, magazine, radio, TV, social networking, etc.Online Video – Including professional video clips of featured products can increase conversion 10-30% and also decrease returns. Videos engage customers and help avoid high bounce rates at your website. These videos can also be used on blogs (good SEO!) and social networking sites, so the small investment can go a long way.Delayed Payment or Installments – Especially during these times, delayed payments (eBillme, Bill Me Later) and payment installments are popular options, particularly on higher ticket items. They are proven to increase conversion.Gift Guides & Gift Finders – Making it EASY is key to holiday shopping. Gift guides by price or type or an interactive gift finder saves shoppers time. It can also help you focus customers on the merchandise that is most appealing and in stock.Gift Cards – Offer gift cards for easy gift giving. Many customers become indecisive because they are overwhelmed with gift choices. Gift cards can overcome this. Also, gift cards delivered by email are a great last minute gift solution all the way up to Christmas Day! (Extends your holiday revenue opportunity, too.)Gift cards also help introduce new customers to your company.Social Networking – Audience demographic makeup = which social network is most relevant. However, Facebook is an easy choice for most marketers. The holidays are the best time to leverage social networking to build up your network and engage customers who are potentially your most loyal customers. Give these fans and followers your absolute best deals. Consider holiday giveaways, too. There are over 150 million Facebook users (Source: Facebook), over 50% are women, and users are starting to resemble the general population as the larger growth has been coming from people over 35 years old (Source: istrategylabs.com).Give a Gift to the Giver – Coupons, free gifts, free gift cards and other offers are great rewards to give to your shoppers. People like free gifts either to keep for themselves or to pass along as a gift.Super Hot Daily Offers – For a week or two prior to Christmas, daily offers will keep your website top of mind. By knowing what your customer likes, you’ll know the most popular products to put on sale each day.Office Gift Giving – Does it make sense for you to promote your products as great gifts for businesses and business people?Coupons in Shopping Cart – Why encourage your buyers to go out to coupon sites when they are shopping on your site? Shoppers could change their mind when they go to these sites, and you may have to incur extra marketing costs at this coupon sites. Feature a couple of attractive offers upon checkout. These coupons could simply reinforce the offers you already have on your site.Other ideas that have high potential for the Holidays and any time of year:
Cart Abandonment – Utilize emails and/or live chat to recover lost sales. Only about 15% of online retailers address shopping abandon carts, with abandon cart email re-marketing converting at 10-20 times more than other emails (Source: Listrack). A Forrester Research study reports these reasons why 60-70% of shoppers report they abandon carts:
> Shipping and handling costs were too high (44 percent)> I was not ready to purchase the product (41 percent)> I wanted to compare prices on other sites (27 percent)> Product price was higher than I was willing to pay (25 percent)> Just wanted to save products in my cart for later consideration (24 percent)
Sitewide Web Banners – We pay a lot of attention to home page marketing. However, the home page is typically a smaller share of total site traffic. Flaunt your great offers using sitewide banners. “Slim banners” under top navigation or other banner formats in side navigation.
Web Shopping Cart Upsells/Cross Sells – Relevant items and impulse buys are great ways to increase average order value. Stocking stuffers make great upsells/cross sells. You are guaranteed a lift in average order size and incremental revenue from the first day you implement this one. Even test a more interruptive (vs. passive) up-sell with a pop-up or roadblock web page as long as there is great value in your up-sell.
Refer A Friend – A best kept secret to acquire customers at the lowest cost and easily increase loyalty. Reward customers with offers when friends they refer become customers.
Bounce Back Offers – These offers are given to buyers to get them to come back and shop again. Why not start promoting holiday offers in shipping packages in October and November? An after holiday sale could be promoted in your packages, email, point-of-sale, and direct mail campaigns in December.
Reward/Points Programs – Increasingly popular way to increase loyalty is a rewards program. Incentivize customers with extra points/rewards during the Holidays.
Website Performance – Are there any user interface, user flow, application availability, speed, or other website performance issues? Website speed and navigation has become critical in maintaining customer attention. Slow sites can easily lead to site abandonment. Speed is also now a big factor for natural search rankings in Google (SEO).
Online clothes shopping is becoming very popular with people all over the world for so many different reasons. There are many different benefits to using the world wide web to shop for any item you need.Knowing what these benefits are will help you see why online clothes shopping just makes sense. Here are the main benefits that so many people around the world shop on the internet instead of wasting time shopping locally.1. Saves money – Shopping on the internet allows you the chance to find good deals for any item that you want to buy. There are many different stores online that sell the same clothes and this allows you to shop around to find the best deal so that you save money each time you buy something new online.2. Convenience – The internet allows you the chance to shop in the privacy of your own home. No longer do you have to fight the crowds or deal with parking or the million other headaches that come with shopping offline.You can now shop at your convenience, any time of the day or night. This is a big reason why so many people are doing their clothes shopping on the internet these days.3. Time saver – You can now find any clothes that you are looking for within minutes. There won’t be any more shopping around and driving to different stores to find what you want. Now you can look at as many different clothes stores as you want to all from one easy place.This is a big time saver for anyone. It is also one of the other big reasons why shopping online for clothes is becoming more popular because everyone has a limited amount of time these days.4. More selection – When shopping at a local store, you only get to choose from the clothes that they have in stock. Shopping on the world wide web allows you to buy clothes from anywhere in the world you want to. This provides a much bigger selection for you to choose from.5. Comparing – When you shop around for clothes, many people like to compare so they can save money and to be sure they are getting exactly what they want. The internet makes it easy to compare anything within a few short minutes so you can easily make a smart decision about your clothing purchase.Now that you know why online clothes shopping is becoming so popular with people all over the world, you can see why it makes a lot of sense for you to start shopping online if you haven’t already. Don’t waste time shopping locally when there are so many benefits to shopping on the internet.
Over the last several years it has been the case that more and more Americas are looking to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and deals. By doing research many customers are finding that they can get a HDTV at a very low price by simply being patient and waiting for these very popular TVs to go on sale. WalMart is the largest retailer in the world and they often offer great discounts when it comes to TVs on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Before making any assumptions on what TVs will be in the ad paper it would be a good idea to look at past sales and see which companies were included.WalMart has relationships with many television companies but the deals and sales that are offered on Cyber Monday tend to be quite consistent. When WalMart is buys these TVs in bulk it is usually done months beforehand and the lower prices are set even before the summer. With this being the case many customers will be able to gauge what types of TV sets will be on sale by simple seeing which parts of the shelves at WalMart of the most full.Many WalMart locations make sure to keep the overstock TVs in the back but you will likely see many stacks of merchandise start to come out at most major retailers. By simply looking towards the ceiling of WalMart, Best Buy or Target over the next few weeks you will find many of the Christmas items that are sure to be on sale during the big sale events of the year which often take place on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday makes things a little bit easier as customers will not have to deal with the crowds like they will on the Friday after Thanksgiving.As Christmas gift ideas are very popular during the next few months it will be the case that many people start to think about buying a TV for the man in their life. Saving some extra money on this TV purchase could help quite a bit when it comes to paying the bills during the holiday season. With WalMart often offering great discounts it might be the cheapest place to find a HDTV from Vizio, Samsung or Philips during the 2010 holiday shopping season. It would also be a smart decision to check out the sales and deals from Target, Best Buy and HH Gregg.
Each year thousands of us fall into this pattern: we spend and spend, buying the gifts we think our loved ones need for the holidays. Then we find ourselves surrounded by unopened boxes, torn wrapping paper and – you guessed it – panic over how we’ll pay off the debt or pay our bills in January.There is a way to manage your spending and still give the gifts you want to those you love. Every holiday season, we’re confronted with a waterfall of advertisements and messages that tell us one thing: spend. It’s great to buy gifts for all your relatives and friends, and maybe even a little something for yourself. Unfortunately, many of us find that our desire to give great gifts doesn’t quite match up with what’s in our wallets. With planning and wisdom, there is a way to balance your holiday spending and avoid the post-holiday financial “hangover” and stress.Here are eight tips for avoiding the post holiday financial “hangover.”1. Create a Budget. Hopefully you already have a budget for your income and expenses. If not, now might be a time to make it a matter of the heart. It’s important to have a separate budget for holiday spending – know exactly how much you can afford to spend without breaking the bank. Be cautious when estimating how much you can spend on credit, and utilize methods like layaway. Most importantly, don’t delay the consequences of a purchase and get yourself into trouble with a financial holiday hangover.2. Make a List. Check it Twice. Know exactly who you are going to buy gifts for and the exact amounts you are going to spend. Having some form of guidance can help you avoid unnecessary spending or other pitfalls holiday shoppers find themselves in.3. Start early. Many shoppers kickoff with Black Friday (or Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday) but it’s also helpful to plan way, way ahead and purchase gifts throughout the deal. A truly wise shopper is always on the lookout for good opportunities. This is another reason why some stores bringing back layaway can be so helpful. Buying gifts at the last minute isn’t just stressful – it can also mean missing out on great deals leading up to the holidays.4. Buy Items in Bulk. Small gifts like gloves can be purchased in packs. I’m sure it isn’t news, but when it comes to bulk items, the more you buy the less it will cost you – a great tip for the smaller gifts, for popcorn tins or stocking stuffers.5. DIY. Making gifts yourself can be a satisfying experience that brings one back to the reason for the season. It really is the thought that counts, and the Internet is full of great Do-It-Yourself gift ideas that can add meaning to the holidays. In this economic climate, more people are baking, making crafts or even giving the gift of homemade coupons. If your spouse hates doing the dishes, give him or her a set of “Get out of Dishes Free” cards. Search sites like ETSY’s homemade blog, The Storque.6. Don’t Shop for Yourself. Now more than ever it’s important to stay within your budget limits. So many shoppers set out with no list in mind and come home with bags full of gifts… for themselves. We do tend to buy for others based on what we like, so if you fall into the “I want” category, it’s best to follow step #1 and tackle the list. Remember, it’s not about you. At least, not ALL about you. If there’s something you’re dying to give yourself this year, make sure it fits into the budget plan – and that there’s still room for everyone else.7. Do a Gift Exchange. Secret Santas and White Elephants aren’t just for workplace Christmas parties anymore. With wallets being slim all around this Christmas, organize a gift exchange within your own family so that everyone purchases one or two gifts instead of buying for everyone. These exchanges can be a real “bang for your buck,” especially when combined with a DIY gift.8. Coupons, coupons, coupons. Being a wise shopper means being on the lookout for coupons and catalog savings online and offline. There are tons of blogs and blotters that keep up with great deals that will continue through the rest of the month. Taking the time to search, clip or print can mean big savings, and a happy holiday all around.These eight tips are good rules to live by for holiday spending, but also remember this: the amount of money you spend this season is equate with how much you love. Find ways to stretch your dollars, but also make sure you take time to cherish moments with those you love – because those memories will last much longer than any technical gadget, stocking stuffer or crumbling fruit cake.
The Christmas season is upon us and many people really struggle to get through the holidays without going broke. With so many people unemployed or working part-time their Christmas budget is very small. This article will give you some tips on how to stretch your money as far as you can and work within your budget.1 – Decide how much you are going to budget for holiday shopping and still meet your monthly expenses. This will help you not to over spend.2 – Make a list of all the people you are buying for. Remember to include all the extra little gifts that you might have like teacher’s presents. If at all possible try to group people together. An example would be buying one gift for a couple rather than buying individual gifts. Write down by each name how much you can spend on that particular person and stick to it.3 – If at all possible shop ahead of time and always be on the watch for sales.4 – Have an actual shopping plan. Do your home work. Black Friday is a great day for getting great sales but if you go shopping without a plan you are likely to wander the stores and do some impulse shopping. This might cause you to go over your budget.5 – Consider drawing names instead of buying for everyone.6 – You can use the internet to compare prices.7 – If you like to cook you might could make homemade goodies and give as gifts. If you have a craft that you are good at then that might be an alternative for you as well. Many people prefer homemade gifts because they feel like there was a lot of thought and love that went into making them.8 – Watch the paper and check online for coupons. This is a great way to save money!The holiday season is a great time for being with your friends and loved ones. Hopefully these tips will help you stay within your budget so you can relax and enjoy this wonderful time of the year!