Rather than roaming the internet or the mall aimlessly buying gifts, use this shopping guide of tips and tricks, to finish your holiday shopping. You’ll not only save time, you’ll save money.
Tip #1: Make a List
We all know that being able to stick to a shopping list is, for many people, an exercise in self-control. Some of us even choose to adhere to a strict budget, while others have a looser understanding of how much to spend during the holidays.
If you haven’t done so already, it might be a good time to download your bank’s free app to your smart phone. While you shop you’ll be able to check your balance in real-time. That way you’ll avoid surprises in January when you get your bank and credit card statements.
SmartDraw Tip: Use the Project Planning Template’s Assignment view to brainstorm your holiday shopping list. The Assignment view, like the Mind Map, allows you to organize your ideas with ease. Click the Enter key to create additional shapes in the same tier. Then simply use the Tab key to navigate from shape to shape. It’s that simple. Click here to learn more about the Assignment view.
Tip #2: Cash in Your Rewards
Take a look at your credit card partnerships, hotel, and airline rewards programs. This is an ideal time to use points to purchase gift cards or make online purchases through the rewards program websites. You may even earn more points.
Tip #3: Prioritize Purchases
If you want to manage your spending, you should purchase less expensive gifts first. According to Scott Huettel, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, when you purchase a costly item, your brain loses perspective on what’s a reasonable price. For example, if you paid $400 for a new PlayStation 4®, spending $90 instead of $70 on a Lego® set would no longer faze you. Thus resulting in a series of high priced items that could easily break the shopping budget you’ve planned for.
Use mind maps to organize your online and in-person purchases. By adding the links to the orders you can easily follow up on online orders and scheduled deliveries. Your shopping list is essentially your one stop shop for managing your holiday shopping.
SmartDraw Tip: You can easily save the online research you’ve done for the products you plan to buy or have already purchased by adding a hyperlink to your shopping list. Simply navigate to appropriate shape in the mind map, right + click and select Add Hyperlink in the menu. Use Ctrl + C to Copy and Ctrl + V to paste the url address of the product you found online into the Hyperlink Dialogue box. Click OK. As a result, the link icon will appear in the bottom right corner of the shape. Click here to learn more about hyperlinking to diagrams and creating hubs of information.
Tip #4: Download an Upbeat Playlist & Your Favorite Store Apps
“Holiday music makes us nostalgic. We linger in the store and buy more to capture that warm, fuzzy feeling,” says Martin Lindstrom, the author of Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy. Instead, wear your ear buds and listen to songs with a beat faster than your resting hear rate, which is an average of about 70 beats a minute. You’ll outsmart the shops and move more quickly through the store.
Avoid sales pitches. Listening to the sales associate’s pitch of products takes you away from getting your holiday shopping list done. Simply cruise by the sales associates enjoying your playlist. Your body language and ear buds will speak for themselves.
Take a moment to download free apps offered by your favorite retailers. It’s not uncommon for retailers to send alerts on sales and coupons directly to your smart phone.
Tip #5: Strategize to Save Time and Money
Avoid impulse shopping leave your credit cards at home and pay with cash. According to Lindstrom, shopping with cash cuts your overall spending by 23%. So, stop by the bank, walk past the ATM, and go directly to a teller. Ask the bank teller to provide you with large bills, such as $50’s and $100’s. Unconsciously, you are less likely to break them unless it’s necessary.
When you’re ready to pay for your purchases, avoid the long lines by going to the less busy departments like the home department or men’s fragrances.
Avoid shopping dates. Although the idea of holiday shopping with a friend sounds like fun, it’s best to shop alone. According to Lindstrom, people tend to mimic one another as they shop. So unless you too want to stock up on new linens like your friend, kindly decline or postpone the shopping date invitation.
Tip #6: Maximize Mealtimes
With a goal to finish your shopping list sooner opposed to later, it’s important that you stay focused and fueled. Choose a meal loaded with fiber, protein and healthy fats. You’re energy levels will be high and you’ll avoid the crash of sugary pastries and snacks. You’ll be able to wrap up your shopping list sooner than you later.
Tip #7: Wrap Things Up
Just like Santa, make your list and check it twice. I don’t know about you, but I get satisfaction in crossing out items on my to-do list. Now that your list is done, you can sit back and enjoy celebrating the holidays with your loved ones.
SmartDraw Tip: Mark an item as complete, simply navigate to the appropriate shape. Right + click, navigate to Task Progress, and select 100% Complete. As a result, a green check mark or tick appears. Click here learn more about Assignment Views.