10 Tips To Survive Christmas Shopping In The Philippines9:03 AM
I'd like to believe I am a shopaholic but I have considerably cut back on shopping sprees since the last year or so. I have been more conscientious and have made it a point to not spend over my budget. It isn't easy to hold back when that beautiful slingback shoes or that limited edition lipstick or that fabulous little black dress is calling your attention. But I tell you mindless shopping is usually the main reason why people overspend or buy items that they regret buying one day. In the Philippines, the Christmas season kicks off as soon as the "ber" months start.
So how will you survive the holidays and come out one piece for the new year?
1. Save. Save. Save. -Before the holiday season kicks off, ensure that you have enough money to buy items that you need and items that you want. Saving will allow you to spend without the guilt for sure.
2. Set a budget and stick to it. -Does this even need any explanation? Well, not setting a budget is a disaster and setting a budget and not sticking to it is just as disastrous. Before you heed out to the shopping mall, ensure that you will only put what's in your list in the shopping cart. Before clicking that "order now" button, make sure your total payable is within your budget. Avoid wandering in every aisle so unnecessary items won't be able to tempt you.
3. Compare prices (and product weight and size if you have to). -Always be aware that not all items are created equal. Make sure to check every item and compare with other products. Cheaper items are usually put on the lower or topmost shelf while the more expensive ones are the items that are just at eye-level or those that are within reach. Some items are packaged in a bigger container but not compact while others come in smaller packaging yet the contents is compact. It would not hurt as well if you compare prices from different establishments before buying something. It also does not mean that if a shirt is cheaper in one store then all of the items in that specific store is already cheaper than other stores.
4. Check the terms of conditions. -If you are buying high-priced items especially in group buying sites, make sure to read the fine print. One of my office mates tried to book a hotel in one of these sites thinking that all branches of these hotel chain are covered but when we checked the fine print, only chosen locations are listed. Being cautious is a good thing and will always be a good thing especially when money is involved.
5. Save receipts. - Being organized pays. You never know when you might need to return an item or request for exchange for something defective. What I do is label envelopes for safekeeping. Receipts, billing statements, bank statements among others has their own envelope.
6. Wear comfortable clothes. -Since it's the Christmas rush, more people are going to shopping malls and specialty stores too so expect longer lines in fitting rooms and in cash registers. You may opt to wear flat shoes as well so your feet won't be as tired.
7. Shop early. -If you do this, you will get a chance to go over nicer arrangement of merchandise. You also have the chance to be served by friendlier sales personnel as they are not tired yet. You will also get a prime spot in the parking lot.
8. Never go inside the grocery hungry. -If you shop hungry, there is a very high chance that you will buy more than what you have planned. You will be craving for virtually every food that you see along the aisles.
9. Protect your identity and money. -Make sure to check the reputation of the seller online. It won't hurt to check Google for feedback and reviews. Never fall in the trap of too good to be true items. Make sure to check as well if the site you are giving your personal information to is secured. Contact your bank as soon as you notice any discrepancy in your receipts and card statements. Never ever withdraw money in a poorly lit location.
10. Avoid wearing expensive jewelries. -This is especially true if you are going to a crowded shopping area like Divisoria. You will be a very good target as the holidays is also the prime time for thieves and scammers alike. Always be aware of your surroundings and take extra care of your belongings.
I sure hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and I hope your shopping will be stress-free and that you will survive to still see the New Years. Take time to enjoy the company of your family and friends and all those that matter to you. When giving gifts, always remember that it's always the thought that counts.