Have you ever bought a Christmas item thinking, “I can’t live without this?” Well, guess what? Through marketing tactics and branding, businesses make you believe that so they can fuel sales.
Just last year, Christmas sales in the United States were $800 billion. This year they are expected to rise by $160 billion more — numbers that are simply mind-boggling.
However, too often these Christmas items are only used once and then end up at the back of a closet. Let’s explore some of the Christmas items you can live without.
1. Christmas Cards for Everyone
If you’re sending Christmas cards this year, you can save money by taking a simple approach to the photo. You don’t need to use a professional photographer. Instead, use a tripod and timer to create a festive image, or ask a family friend with an excellent eye to snap photos.
2. Buy Now, Pay Later Plans
Pay later sounds like a good option, allowing you to split your total bill into smaller payments. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, you’ll pay outrageous fees and interest rates if you miss even one payment.
The data shows that 74% of people who used buy now and pay later in the last three months missed a payment. You would hardly be classified as an exception. You will be chained to debt until you finish your payment schedule, no matter how good your financial situation is.
Hot Tip: It’s easy to indulge during the holidays, be sure to only spend what you can afford and try not to go into debt to buy presents!
3. Extended Warranties
Extended warranties are commonly pitched to customers at retail establishments; nearly all of them are poor deals. You’ll be offered an extended warranty on almost any higher-priced item as a way to protect you in case they’re damaged or stolen. But really, it’s just another way for businesses to boost sales. Just say “no” to extended warranties.
4. High-End Electronics
Just because it’s Christmas, it doesn’t mean you have to purchase the latest high-tech gadget. It still feels like Christmas whether you give your loved one a big-screen TV or a DIY gift like a homemade mug.
5. Gift-Wrapping Services
You don’t need to pay someone else to wrap all your gifts — this isn’t the North Pole. Besides, everything will get destroyed on Christmas morning. You can save money by purchasing wrapping paper and bows from a dollar store.
6. Everything on Your Kids’ Christmas Lists
Spending over $1,000 on Christmas presents for your family is a lot of cash. The question is, do you need to spend that much money to have a great Christmas? The answer is usually no.
To save a little cash, don’t buy every single item on their wish lists. Stick to a prudent budget and determine what is fair to spend on each person.
7. Exercise Equipment
As we all know, January is fast approaching and for many people, their New Year’s resolution is to exercise more. If you plan on purchasing an expensive exercise bike hoping that seeing it every day will make you want to use it, hold your horses. Instead, wait until mid-to-late January when stores are trying to unload unsold exercise equipment.
8. Overnight Shipping
Don’t wait until December 23rd to purchase your gifts. If you order your gifts a few weeks early, you’ll get free shipping and they’ll arrive in time for Christmas. Santa is running behind, so don’t wait until the last minute to order your presents. Even if Santa’s magic can’t get the supply chain issues cleared up, you don’t have to worry about overnight shipping fees. So, plan ahead of time!
Be smart and save your hard-earned money. Christmas is a time for celebrating with friends and family, but it doesn’t have to bust your budget. Make a budget, stick to it, and shop well ahead of Christmas and save money this holiday season.