Every year it’s the same thing, we tell ourselves we’ll put money aside for a Christmas fund, but sometimes things come up that we need to use that money. We tell ourselves we’ll start shopping earlier, but end up shopping at the last minute.
So when Christmastime rolls around we’re scrambling for spending money or even time to shop. It happens to our family too, year after year.
But why wait until November or December to save and shop? Why not start now?
Here’s a great list to help you prepare for Christmas.
1. Gift Cards – Start at the beginning of the year by buying gift cards. A $20 or $50 gift card a month from Visa, Amazon, Wal-Mart, or your favorite shopping destination, tucked away in an envelope to use at the end of the year goes a long way. That’s about $240 to $600 saved up for your holiday shopping.
2. Sales – Take advantage of all the after season sales. In the springtime take advantage of all the winter clothing and goods sales. In the fall, grab up the summer savings, and don’t forget after all the major holidays too.
3. Savings Jar – Start a coin savings jar. When you do your weekly shopping, don’t pay with change, then dump your loose change into a jar. It may not look like much, but you’d be surprised at the end of the year at how much there actually is. One year we saved up about $600 in loose change.
4. Plan Ahead – Write a list now of all the people you need to get gifts for and how much you’re willing to spend on them. This saves on a last minute cash and time crunch as you rush to grab a present for someone you’ve forgotten.
5. Shop Now – You don’t even have to wait until the holiday season to start shopping. If you see something throughout the year that you know someone would like, get it and stash it away. This would be best for the adults you need to shop for as children are fickle in their selections. There’s nothing more aggravating and wasteful than buying a bunch of Superman toys to only learn that he now loves Batman.
6. Use Reward Programs – Reward programs such as TopCashBack.com and MyPoints.com are a great way to get free gifts just for doing your regular online shopping, reading emails, web searches and the like. We’ve earned free $25 gift cards that we gave to the kids for their favorite stores.
7. Make it Instead – Instead of buying a gift, make something instead. Spend time throughout the year creating gifts with your talent. This will be more sentimental and meaningful to receive from you than a gift card or such. Whether it’s a photo collage, created art, or mason jar gifts. Look on Pinterest or other similar sites for inspiration.
The holidays can be a stressful time for anybody, but if you implement these simple ideas throughout the year it will go a long way to easing that stress.
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon