Skipping The Long Lines And Shopping Online

I have decided to do the majority of my Christmas shopping online this year.  In fact, even though I like bargains, I am going to forgoe going to any stores on Black Friday.  I might, however, take a peak or two at Amazon’s Black Friday page and see what I can find for my family and friends.

I would like to have all of my shopping wrapped up (pun intended) by the first week of December.  Across the board, I think that I will spend a little less this Christmas than in the past.  One positive thing to come from the recent economic situation, people are finally learning to tell the difference between needs and wants.  Most of the things we buy as Christmas gifts are wants, not needs.

I will confess, Christmas is the one time of year when I like to splurge.  I really enjoy buying gifts for my kids and my wife.  This year, I am going to be a little more frugal, but I’ll still buy them some fun things.

For the most part, I will take my own advice, and stay away from the mall.  I might go once, just to pick out a few things for my wife, but I think it best to stay out of any atmosphere which promotes reckless spending.  Even after years of living on a budget, I am still susceptible, like most people, to the occasional impulse purchase.  Staying away from the mall, and shopping online, allows me to research products, take my time, and really think before I buy.

Also, when I shop online, I can shop through Upromise and earn cash back for my kids’ college savings.  When saving, every penny counts, and since I don’t use credit cards, I look for bonus rewards from wherever I can get them.  With Upromise, I just registered my debit card, I shop with it online, and I get cash back.

By the way, for those worried about shopping with a debit card online for security reasons, here’s my setup.  I use the debit card associated with my ING Direct Electric Orange checking account, instead of a credit card.  The amount in the account is limited, and I regularly check my balance.  I’ve been using my debit card online for several years and I have never had a problem, but you might want to contact you financial institution and ask them about how they handle identity theft and debt card fraud.

I love Christmas, but back when I was getting out of debt, I didn’t have a lot of spare cash for buying Christmas presents.  I have written down a few ideas for a debt-free Christmas.  I hope that these ideas will help you save a bit of money and get out of debt.

I don’t know if I will have time to write much over the next few days, so I wanted to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving.  Each day, I am amazed by the number of folks who take the time to read my site, leave comments, and connect with me.  The last three plus years have been amazing, and I just can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.  You guys rock!

9 thoughts on “Skipping The Long Lines And Shopping Online

  1. I’m also planning on doing much of my shopping on-line. I only have a few people to buy for though, mainly Mr Chiot’s and a small gift for nieces & nephew (3 total). We have a “homemade” Christmas with my family with a limit of $10 per family that can be spent on supplies, I don’t have to worry about overspending there. It’s so much fun and I must admit, we’ve been having a blast doing it since we started (when a family member started having financial problems several years ago). We enjoy spending time with each other and exchanging a few thoughtful homemade gifts (this year I’m giving homemade apple butter and jams & jellies, as well as a few truffles & chocolate covered cherries).

  2. I don’t buy that much at Christmas, just things for people I really care about. I enjoy doing it, it’s not a pain to me. I usually just go out to the mall, get a few ideas, then come home and find the best deal on the item online. If the item happens to be on sale black friday, and it won’t be sold out within the first hour, I may venture out in that to buy it, but otherwise, online it is.

  3. I did all my shopping online last year, this year I will go to a few local stores for supplies for homemade gifts. I really prefer online shopping, skipping the crowds and lines. I don’t know that shopping in the mall makes me spend more, I usually set a dollar limit per person.

  4. To get coupons on everything from the latest fashions to accessories, check out iStorez. It’s new and basically pulls together all of the store specials across all of the major brands and retailers in real-time so you can get them in one place in stead of at each individual site. Here’s their coupon page if you’re interested — Enjoy!

  5. NCN, if you’re looking for books, I’d also suggest – they have great deals, an incredible Thanksgiving weekend sale, and free shipping if you order over $35. I’ve bought from them several times and have always been pleased, the only issue is that because they only carry surplus books, they may not have exactly what you’re looking for. But if you’ve got flexibility and some time, they’re great (particularly for children’s books)!

  6. I was making plans yesterday to get up at 4:00 for what I thought was a killer deal on a 46″ LCD. We’ve wanted one for years and with the sale of our home we were going take a little out to splurge on a TV. After doing some research I actually found deals online that were just as good. But then after going over our budget and what we want to do on our new home (update lighting, refinish floor, etc) We again put off the luxury of a big LCD. Well, we moved it down the list a bit until it does fit in our budget.

    Thanks for the great reminder.

  7. my wife went at midnight to the outlet. it was so packed that it took like 45 minutes to move less than 1/2 mile off the exit. crazy. she also said that the deals weren’t that good anyways. probably not, since outlets are already discounted heavily to begin with. since we aren’t xmas shopping, she was picking stuff up for herself that she wants on sale if she finds anything. we like the holiday’s, we just don’t celebrate it. good way to keep things debt-free for us.

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