It is that time of the year when festivals start to queue up one after the other. With Diwali closely following Dussehra, we can easily call the month of October a festive season. What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word ‘festive season’? Shopping, of course! For all the shopaholics out there, festive seasons are an excuse to go on a card swiping spree. With sale and discounts galore at every corner, the festive season shopping is something everyone looks forward to.
While there is no denying that festive shopping can be fun, it can easily turn into financial train wreck if your spending is not kept in check. With Credit Cards being swiped to buy clothes, accessories, household items, electronics, gifts and much more, it is very easy to cross the line and splurge. You would be surprised at the amount of Credit Card debt an average shopper accumulates during the festive season shopping. Apart from unleashing the spendthrift inside us, offline festive shopping can give you a splitting headache, thanks to the bone crushing crowds that rush to make the most of the sale. Before you head out to shop or take out your cell phones to shop online, take a look at 10 frugal ways by which one can save a lot of money this festive season.
Make a shopping budget and stick to it: For centuries, budgeting has been at the heart of money saving exercises. So, in order to curb our festive shopping expenses, we have to turn to budgeting yet again. Take stock of how much money you have by calculating the amount left in your account after deduction for EMIs and other utility bills. Plan your Credit Card expenditure too by deciding how much Credit Card debt you can manage in future. Once you have zeroed in on an amount that you can spare for your festival shopping, be strong willed and stick to that budget. While it is okay to deviate a little from the decided budget, ensure that you don’t spend too much and ruin your budget. Making a budget is easy but following it is hard. And those who manage to follow the budget end up saving a lot.
Make a shopping list and stick to it: Have you ever tried planned shopping? What if we say planned shopping is more fun than impulse shopping? In the case of planned shopping, the fun is doubled as you mentally shop for things while making a shopping list and later buy those things mentioned on the shopping list. Make a note of all the things you want to buy right from clothes for family, crackers for kids, furniture for home, gifts for friends and relatives, among others. Once you are done with the shopping list, start purchasing only the items mentioned in the list and refrain from impulsive buying. We know it is harder than it sounds, but if you stick to your shopping list, the chances of overshooting your shopping budget will be smaller. When you plan your shopping in advance, you are saved from the hassles of last minute shopping too.
Check for the best deals online and offline: Come festive season, you can find a plethora of amazing sales and deals both online as well as offline. While most deals look attractive, one has to do a thorough market research to find the best offers available. Though there is a common belief that things are cheaper online, you will be surprised to see that, at times, there are better deals in stores and showrooms than the deals offered on online shopping sites. If you are an online shopper, try to get your hands on discount coupon codes as it will save you a great deal of money when you add up all the small savings on each and every purchase.
Cash in on Credit Card signup bonus: Festive seasons like Diwali are not just a heaven for shoppers but also for Credit Card buyers. In order to cash in on the festive spirit, Credit Card companies compete fiercely against one another, offering great signup bonuses when you take a Credit Card from them. Axis Bank Neo Credit Card gives away free Myntra and BookMyShow vouchers as joining perks. HDFC Bank Platinum Times Card offers 18% off on purchases from Shoppersstop.com as a signup bonus. There are plenty of other great signup deals which can save you a lot of money while shopping.
Make the most of reward points and cashback offers: Rewards Credit Cards can be your saviour as you can save a ton of money by just redeeming the points that you have earned from previous purchases. Cashback cards are also a huge hit during the festive shopping season as you get cashback when you make purchases at select stores and outlets. And the more you purchase, the more you will enjoy the benefits of reward points and cashback. Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card offers 15X reward points on every Rs. 150 spent using the card. Visit BankBazaar.com for more amazing deals on rewards and cashback Credit Cards.
Don’t forget about Credit Card Balance Transfer: At the end of every festive season, a majority of shoppers end up with a lot of Credit Card debt. We advise that you avoid this. However, just in case you overshoot your shopping budget and spend a little more than you should have on your Credit Card, then remember that you have the option to use the balance transfer feature available in Credit Cards. By opting for a balance transfer, you can move the balance from a high interest rate Credit Card to a 0% APR Credit Card. While this could help you save a great deal of money that would have otherwise been spent on interest, it comes with certain terms and conditions which must be adhered to. A balance transfer will also affect your Credit Score.
DIY to the rescue: Buying gifts for someone is one of the toughest tasks during the festive season. Most of us spend a lot on buying expensive gifts which might not have any emotional value attached to them. Instead of buying gifts, unleash your inner craftsperson and invest time in DIY gifts. This will not only save money but will also make the gift more meaningful and personal. Remember that the worth of a gift is not decided by the amount of money spent on it, but it is determined by how it makes the other person feel.
Buy local: Be it clothes, accessories or electronics, we all rush to buy branded stuff from reputed stores without realising that there might be a better deal in local brands offered by small vendors. While brand matters and branded stuff is great, this festive season give local made items a try. You will be surprised to see how good local brands are and how much money you can save by opting for swadeshi items.
Have a house party: Festivals are occasions for friends and families to meet and gather under one roof. So instead of going out for dinner or movie, have a house party and ask all the guests to contribute to the purchases of the party. Eat home cooked food, indulge in light-hearted banter with your loved ones and spend quality time with your family. Your loved ones will appreciate you for spending time with them rather than splurging money on outings and events. And it is needless to say that it is easy on the pocket.
Break your ultimate shopping trip into multiple small trips: Festive shopping is generally a big event for families as they go out on a weekend to purchase all the things they need during the festival. Since they shop for everything in one go, tackling the rush of festive shopping, the whole experience of shopping becomes hectic and traumatic. Also, last minute purchases cost a lot more than shopping done in advance. In order to shop better and to shop cheaper, break your ultimate shopping trip into numerous small trips. Every time you visit a mall or go to a departmental store, carry your shopping list and keep buying things from it. This makes festive shopping so much easier and you also to get to cash in on deals that you might have missed if you opted for last minute shopping.
Now that you know all about frugal festive shopping, let the joy of Dussehra and Diwali give you double the satisfaction when it comes to saving money on things you buy! Happy swiping! Happy shopping!
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