Survival Tips For Last Minute Gift Shopping

Gifts are something that we all have to buy at some point in the year. There are birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries that could all warrant a gift or two. Even though we know these things are coming up, quite a lot of us can leave buying gifts until quite late. It can be a little stressful if you’ve left things a bit last minute. Especially when it is a busy time around the holidays. But it is important to remember to not panic! There are plenty of options out there for you. All’s not lost if you have to do some last minute shopping. So here are some of my survival tips to keep you sane as you shop.

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image from pixabay

Shop Online Where Possible

A lot of retailers offer super fast shipping. Quite often it will be next day or express shipping. It might cost you a little more, but then you can relax knowing that the gifts will be arriving shortly. If you are a little stressed, it helps to shop online too. You can take your time and browse, without having other people surrounding you. It might help you to stop any impulse buying. So it is good in many ways. You might even find that some stores have exclusive online discounts. So check out the stores that you would normally buy from. If you can find a Kmart Discount or a Bath and Body Works discount, then it will help a lot, right?

Think of Unique Gifts

Some gifts don’t require an actual physical gift to present to the recipient. There are options for gifts that you can just print out right in your own home. You could order them something like a magazine subscription, for example. It is something that they wouldn’t really choose for themselves but will be a great gift to get. Just think about what their favorite would be. Getting something in the mail each month would be fun. You could order them gift certificates or even something like a gym membership. Something like that would not be expected as a gift. But it would be received well for sure.

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Make Gifts

It might be a good idea to make some gifts for a nice change. Think about neighbor gifts for the holidays, for example. You could make some homemade treats to give to out to them. Or even layering ingredients in a mason jar, for them to make by themselves. Homemade gifts are super thoughtful and can quite often save you a bit of money. If crafts aren’t a big thing of yours, then you could put together a gift basket or hamper. Fill a basket or box with some favorite treats of your recipient. It could be their favorite foods or drinks. It could even be a theme hamper with things like movies and popcorn. It certainly makes it for a fun gift!

Have you got any tips for when you buy last minute gifts for others? It would be great to hear what you do when it is a little last minute.

Wedding Countdown From 1 Year To 1 Day

From the moment you put that gorgeous diamond on your finger, the countdown to your wedding begins. It can be done quickly, but most couples prefer to take their time to plan the perfect occasion to celebrate their marriage. Most weddings are in two parts. You have the ceremony to complete the legal part of marrying. Then there is a huge celebration afterward. Your reception could be the biggest party of your lives, so you want it to be incredible. It can typically take about a year to plan for a wedding, so here is the countdown of what you need to do:

1 Year To Go

Now could be a good time to announce your engagement. Parents and family are typically told in person. You could also make a more general announcement using social media. Some families still like to make announcements using the local press too. Of course, most people will already be asking which date you’ve chosen for your wedding. That’s the next thing to secure!

11 Months To Go

By now you should have shortlisted two or three venues for your ceremony and reception. Make sure you visit them all. You’ll know in your heart if they are the right place for you. Availability is always limited so chances are your wedding date will be determined by that.  Once you have booked, you’ll be asked for a substantial deposit. Once that is paid, your wedding date will be confirmed!

10 Months To Go

You may already be browsing through the wedding mags. You might have a huge scrapbook of ideas about wedding styles, honeymoons, and vows. The pressure may be on to try and slim down, but there is rarely any real need. You will look stunning in your wedding dress no matter what size you are! Now is a good time to get your wedding planner up to date. There is a lot to achieve. This will help you determine your budget, and where you can make some

savings.

Photo credit Flickr

9 Months To Go

It’s time to start booking those essential wedding services. Your celebrant will need to be confirmed. Some request that you complete all the paperwork for your bands or license to marry now. Religious ceremonies may have other things you need to do before they can agree to your ceremony of marriage. It’s best to check the details now while there is still time to make changes.

8 Months To Go

Photographers can get booked up quickly. So can limousine companies. Weekends are notoriously busy, so book these early to avoid disappointment. You can also book your cake and your flowers if you know what color themes you’re looking for. Chances are you have already booked the honeymoon. Make sure your jabs are up to date, and Visas are confirmed. If you are changing your name, check with your local passport office what you need to do.

Photo credit Flickr

7 Months To Go

Now it’s time for the finer details. Wedding stationery can be ordered quickly and easily online. You can usually add some personal touches to give recipients a teaser about your wedding style. Dress shopping is essential for a wedding. Starting this early gives you plenty of time to enjoy browsing. Once you’ve found the perfect dress, it will take several weeks to complete all the alterations. The same goes for your bridesmaid dresses.

6 Months To Go

By now you may both be getting quite nervous. Perhaps it’s time to confirm the menu? As the wedding invitations are RSVPd, you can confirm the numbers for your event. If you’re booking musicians or DJs, now is a good time to secure your favorite choices. You may even put together a playlist. Have you decided on your First Dance song yet?

3 Months To Go

If one or both of you are moving house when you marry, it could be time to start searching for that perfect first home together. Funding this and the wedding could be tough so be sure to speak to your parents before getting into dire financial straits. Have you ordered your wedding rings yet? If you want them engraved, you need to order that as soon as possible.

Photo credit Flickr

6 Weeks To Go

Revisit each of your venues and each of your suppliers. This will confirm the bookings are still going ahead and will allow you just enough time to add any finer details to your plan. Make sure your celebrant has checked in to confirm any rehearsals or other paperwork that may be needed. By now you should be checking off most of the things on your planner list. Put in your notice at your flat if you’ll be moving, and secure your new accommodation.

4 Weeks To Go

Book in your hair and makeup sessions. You’ll also need a final fitting for your wedding dress in the next week or so. Chase up any guests that you haven’t heard from in a while. Has everyone got accommodation sorted out? Who will be decorating your venues on the day? And do the bridesmaids have their dresses organized? Lots to do now and the pressure is on! Put in your notice at work for the honeymoon leave.

Photo credit Flickr

2 Weeks To Go

This is the scariest part of the whole wedding! You may be worried about things going wrong or getting lost. By now you’ve probably done all you can do for your wedding. It’s time to relinquish the reins to your family and friends. They’ll need to arrange to pick up the rings, flowers, and dress. They will also need to make sure the venue is decorated on the day. It’s rare to get access more than a couple of hours before the event, so someone else will have to do it. Are your vows written?

1 Day To Go

On your last day of single life, you may be worried and flustered, but you can also enjoy what’s about to happen. Your hen do may be over, but that shouldn’t stop you taking a spa day and relaxing. After all, tomorrow will be the most incredible day of your life. Congratulations.

Simple Ways To Save Money So You Can Enjoy The Little Luxuries In Life

Saving money and not spending so much play a lot on our minds. It can cause unnecessary stress that builds up and can be damaging to your health and wellness. Nobody wants to forgo all of life’s luxuries, else what’s the point of working? But being frugal in certain ways can be both rewarding and fun. Think of it is a new skill to learn! Here are some of our top suggestions on how to save a bit of money by the end of each month. And if there enough left over in the pot at the end of the year, why not treat your family to a holiday abroad?

Extreme Couponing

There’s an old clip of KUWTK’s that shows Kourtney Kardashian getting a little bit addicted to couponing. It actually has a name: extreme couponing. Kourtney got so addicted she started making organisational folders and obsessing over collecting coupons. The point is, you don’t have to be on the breadline to want to save money. Why turn down a coupon or money off a product, if it’s being offered? If anything, it shows you’re not frivolous with your money. Ok, she might keep her coupons in a Hermes bag, but who are we to judge! Look out for coupons in your local paper and magazines. There are plenty of coupons you can download from the Internet. These include cinema savings, grocery discounts and 2-4-1 restaurant meals. If you love a company and want to take a survey, filling out an online a customersurveyreport.com can give you rewards such as big money to spend in the store. Extreme couponing has been labelled a full-time job. But you could just join the league of casual couponers out there and reap some great benefits too.

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Image source: Flickr

Credit Cards and Savings Accounts
Do some research on the credit cards and savings accounts you have. Many banks offer reward schemes and cashback. You can often get money back when you spend in department stores or big grocery stores. It may not seem like much to start with, but it does add up. If you love fashion and are a fan of ASOS, they have recently introduced a great reward scheme that gives you money back in vouchers, every time you spend. Also look into transferring your credit cards to another that offers 0pc interest. The BankAmericard credit card also offers 2pc back at grocery stores and 3pc back on gas. For minimal effort, you can make some significant savings over the year.

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Credit: Flickr

Supermarket Savings

Many grocery stores offer reward cards that you can take advantage of. They pay for your loyalty, so make it work for you. When going grocery shopping be strict and make a list. Avoid the sweets and magazines at the till. The former are full of sugar and the latter you can now read online. Go for own-brand goods when it’s viable. You may have a favorite make of beans, but own-brand rice, OJ, cleaning products and spaghetti are just as good. Downshifting even just one level can save you plenty of dollars over the year. Try it for a few weeks, tot up your bills and see what you can achieve. Be aware of BOGOF offers. They are fantastic for things like toothpaste and toilet roll. But if it’s on something that is perishable, do you really need two that week?
Learning how to save money here and there can lead to a more stress-free financial life. It can help you get out of debt, start saving for a new car or go on your dream holiday.