Friday, November 23, 2012

Fiscal Friday: Holiday shopping

So today is Black Friday. For you lucky few who aren't familiar with the concept, it's a practice in which bargain-hungry Americans decide to wait in line for hours to buy crap at huge discounts. (Canadian friends: Do you all go out and beat each other silly for half off sweaters and $100 off TVs the day after you give thanks for everything you already have?) Having worked a few Black Friday shifts at a major electronics store back in college, I pretty much loathe the concept. But I won't get into how much I'm disgusted by the rampant commercialism and willingness to give up a great holiday in order to wait in line for 12 hours for a sale here.

No, I'm spending my Black Friday watching movies with Matt and basically digesting from the two enormous feasts we had yesterday with our families. But I can't help but starting to think about my holiday shopping; after all, now that Thanksgiving is over, it's completely seasonally appropriate to start tackling my gifts list.

This year, I'm using a new method for buying presents while staying in budget. And it involves a really cool new Pinterest feature: secret boards.


I'd like to take this moment to disclaimer that this post is not sponsored or in any other way endorsed by Pinterst. It's just something cool that I decided to do and thought to share :)

So anyway, I realized I could make a secret board to organize, tag and price my entire gift list. And I'm the only person who can see it; the pins don't appear anywhere on my profile, but I can see them any time I want. So I just shopped online for everyone, pinned everything I thought might work, and tagged the pin with a name and a price. If you're new to the pinning scene, adding a price to a pin actually displays the price over the image, like so:


Images blacked out so no one guesses what I'm getting them :)

So anyway, as I narrow down my options for each person, I'll have a pretty clear idea of exactly how much I'm spending...and when I'm ready to buy everything, I can just click through the links and have everything delivered to the house. Easiest. Holiday. Shopping. Ever.

Do you have any tricks for not overspending during your holiday shopping?


  1. I usually make a spread sheet and have a set spending limit on each person. As soon as I buy something, I put it into the spreadsheet with the price and subtract that from the total. I keep doing that until I reach my spending limit! I try to buy a few little things so I can give several cool gifts instead of one big one! I hope that makes sense!

    I wish I had a budget for Christmas this year. I'm so sad that I won't be able to buy anybody a Christmas gift. Europe has drained my checking and my savings accounts, haha

  2. dude, this is such a good idea!!!! I never thought about using secret boards but this is such a great use!

  3. I agree with you so much about this ridiculous BF tradition. It's commercialization at its worst. This year, some people even got shot from frayed tempers.

    I make lists of gifts for people and keep a running total to avoid going overboard. I bought your holiday gift but I'm not sure how to mail a pony. :)


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