Buying gifts for the whole family, close friends or even co-workers as part of the yearly Secret Santa party can be expensive and time-consuming, to say the least. Working on a limited budget while striving to buy the best gifts for your kids, however, is a whole different thing. Unfortunately, the prices for kids’ clothes and toys (at least the ridiculously overpriced high-tech toys they would like to find under the tree) seem to be on the rise each year.
If you would like to finally put an end to your yearly Xmas gift shopping struggles, we are here to assist you. Here are three very basic and common-sense rules that should help you streamline the process considerably and keep everyone happy.
#1: Shop Online So You Can Compare Prices And Products
Setting foot in an over-crowded toy or clothing store in December is a bold mission. But if you do not have the time and patience to visit a few stores around and figure out what to buy for each of your kids, you may want to opt for the online shopping alternative.
Online shops will usually offer nice discounts and offer and you will have the opportunity to slowly go over each toy or gadget and read customer reviews and features, compare prices know exactly what you are about to buy. The best part is that you get to do it from the comfort of your own home, in your most comfortable sweatsuit and there is no pushing and shoving, stress and anxiety involved. Simply sip on your favorite cup of coffee and browse several sites that offer discounts. Or take a break like the Aussies, and play a few rounds of “pokies” so you can clear your mind, and hopefully go back to your shopping spree with a larger budget and if you don’t know what a “pokie” is click here…
#2: Use The 4-Gift Christmas Rule
If you haven’t been paying much attention to parenting forums and Facebook pages lately, you might not know that there is an entire Christmas gifting trend that parents have started embracing for Christmas. The trend says that children can only get four gifts that need to be carefully selected from four distinct categories. These categories can be chosen according to kids’ age and needs: clothing items, educative toys, toys for fun or anything else they might want and books.
The idea sounds pretty good, considering that you can focus on buying some more meaningful gifts. You could also create charts you plan the exact gifts each of your children will receive. You could also use these guidelines for your gift categories:
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something they wear
- Something they read
You will definitely get to spend some money with this strategy and make sure your kids get what they want as well as what you think is most suitable for them.
#3: Use The Sliding Scale Spending Rule
You may appreciate the idea of setting a dollar amount for each of your children gifts based on their age. Needless to say, the gifts for your 16yo teenage son will cost more than the gifts for your toddler. Use this technique to stick within your budget and spend less this Christmas.
Here are the basic rules:
- set up the overall budget for all your children combined. We will call this number X.
- take a piece of paper and write down the age of each of your kids. Add up the numbers. We will call this number Y.
- divide X by Y and you will obtain the budget per year amount.
- now multiply the individual age of each of your children by the budget per year (x/y) and you will find out what is the budget for each of your kids.
For example, for a $300 overall budget (x=300) for three children ages 4, 1 and 6 (y=4+1+6=11), the budget for year amount would be x:y=300:11=$28 give or take. This means that the child who is 4 will be allotted $112 (27 x 4), the 1-year-old would receive a $28 gift while the 6yo would get a gift worth $168. Fun rules you could apply to your adult friends and family too to save some money this Xmas. (More about sliding scale here)
With these few Christmas-shopping rules you will be relaxed and ready for a great Christmas this year – Happy Christmas!