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How Not To Go Broke This Christmas Season
How to Not Go Broke This Christmas Season. Hey guess what? Christmas is right around the corner. I know what you are thinking. You’re thinking I must be totally nuts, summer is not even over yet, it’s not time to think about Christmas now.
To be honest now is the perfect time to start shopping for Christmas. I used to be one of those people who would always be last-minute shopping, even to the point of running out to the stores on Christmas Eve trying to finish up my gift giving list.
If you are one of those people, then I’m sure you will agree with me that doing this not only takes all the fun out of Christmas because we are so stress out trying to get everything done, it also takes a toll on you budget. I would just throw items in my cart to get it over with and not even take into consideration how it was hurting my finances and budget
Once I finally decided that I wanted a happier, stress free life by taking control of my finances, digging myself out of debt, and making my family’s financial health a priority. I realized that I had to change just about everything I had been doing in regards to money and finances.
One important change I made was to plan ahead as much as I possibly could in regards to money, spending and saving. Planning ahead for the Christmas season not only offers you the luxury of shopping around for the best possible prices, it also helps you control you spending, become more thoughtful in the gifts you do give, and actually enjoy the holidays with Family and Friends which is what Christmas is all about.
Here are some tips you can start doing today for a budget friendly, less hectic and more enjoyable holiday season.
Create a Christmas gift budget
- Create a Christmas gift budget, figure out how much money you can actually devote to the holiday season. Please do not check the available credit on your credit cards to come up with this amount. Decide what you can actually afford to spend without breaking your budget or getting in debt.
Tip: It may be too late for this holiday season but you can certainly plan ahead for next year. Consider opening up a Christmas Club savings at your local bank to make the holiday season a bit less stressful in the future.
Save Money This Christmas Season
Make a list
- Make a list of everyone you are planning on giving gifts to and also everything else you are going to need to purchase during the holiday season. As you probably know, hosting the holiday celebration can be quite costly, work this into your holiday budget. Also don’t forget about the small extras such as wrapping paper, gift bags, Christmas cards, postage, and so on.
Tip: Encourage having Secret Santa gift exchanges with the adults in your family, close friends or coworkers. This will help cut your gift giving list down to save money. I’m sure everyone involved will appreciate it as well.
Tip: Don’t buy for yourself, when you are out shopping for others it can be tempting to give yourself a few gifts when you see items you really like and at such great deals. Don’t forget, you will be receiving gifts as well.
Decide how much to spend
- Write down the amount you plan to spend on each person on your list and for all other items you are going to need to purchase. Also note what you are planning on purchasing for each individual, if you aren’t sure, jot down ideas such as what is this person into, what hobbies or interest they may have, gather clothing sizes or any other information that may help.
Savings Tip: How about making handmade gifts that are less stressful on your wallet, after all, it’s the thought that counts. Also, most people really appreciate a gift that you actually put effort into making especially for them, it shows how much you care.
Savings Tip: Reuse gift bags and bows that are still in good condition. If you don’t have any, keep this in mind during this holiday season to save money next year or for any gift giving occasion.
- Now you are prepared to go out shopping. Don’t go crazy, you have plenty of time which is the point of planning early, take your time to look for the best deals on items you are looking for. Scan clearance aisles and sales shelves and racks for items that fit the bill. Don’t forget to keep your list with you at all times.
Savings Tip: Use rewards card to make your money go further as long as you can stick to your budget.
Savings Tip: Consider sending e-cards to out-of-town family and friends to save on cards and postage.
- If you shop online, don’t forget to use cash back site such as Ebates (you will get $10 automatically deposited into your account by using my link to sign up) , TopCashBack or SavingStar. You should also search for online coupons that may be available prior to checkout, do an online search or use an extension such as Honey that will automatically search for coupons at checkout. You can also use extensions, such as Price Blink, that alert you if there is a better price at another online retailer for the same item. Don’t forget to check out the clearance item at your favorite online stores as well.
Savings Tip: Buy discounted gift cards from sites such as GiftCards.com to use to pay for your Christmas purchases. You can buy gift cards that are worth up to 15% more that you pay for them.
These tips should help you stay on track and make this holiday season more enjoyable for everyone.
Tip: Take the time to donate to those in need. This doesn’t even need to cost you a dime. Maybe you can donate some of your time by volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Or donate winter coats and jackets that your children have outgrown to Coats for Kids.
Please leave a comment if you have other tips you would like to share.
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