If you are like half of the world. You just emptied our your wallet to buy Christmas gifts for your family and friends! It is maddening how much money is spent over the holiday season. Maybe you were lucky and had a savings built up for the gifts. And hopefully you didn’t go into debt to pay for your Christmas gifts. No matter what happened over this past holiday, it is time to prepare for the upcoming Christmas!
I know! You think I am insane right now! There are literally over 350 days until Christmas and here I am talking about preparing for the holiday! But I am not crazy! I am smart because now is the time to think about what you want your expenditures to look like next Christmas! It seems early but now is the time to
There are a few routes you may take for your Christmas gift giving for next year. Each of them can help you navigate the expenses of Christmas gift giving that seems to hit insuring the holiday season. Some of these ideas may even save you a bundle of money! There are three main concepts and they are: shop early, make handcrafted gifts, set aside money in a Christmas find right now!
Now is the time to start shopping for Christmas for next year! In fact, we should have been out shopping the day after the holiday. There is no such thing as being too early. If you know your lights need to be replaced on the Christmas tree, don’t wait until next November to replace them. Head to the stores right now and buy them when they are 75% off (or dare we dream 90%). Now is the time to buy your Christmas items for next year. They are deeply discounted! And it’s not just decorations you should be looking for. Look for gifts!
One year I went shopping the day after Christmas. I bought new Christmas lights and ornaments. But I also purchased a huge box of items. I bought crystal Christmas platters for 25 cents. I bought Christmas tea towels, I bought all sorts of items. I didn’t have a need for them at that moment, but I put them in a big box in my spare room closet. Every time that year when I saw an incredible sale, I purchased the item and dropped it into that box! When Christmas time came around I opened that box and I had amazing gifts! I made cookies and used those 25 cent platters for my coworkers. I made gift baskets with items. Sure, I had to buy some small things, but the bulk of Christmas was purchased well in advance and at deep discounts!
The other benefit of the Christmas gift box of sale items? I had a friend that moved into a new house! I ran to the box and I pulled put items to put together a house warming gift! Yes, that box came in handy year round! The trick of the gift box? But when you see something on sale and out it aside! Sure you may not use it for a year or two, but you will be glad you have it when you need it!
But shopping early isn’t the only thing we should be doing early!
Plan a Handcrafted Christmas
Do you have an incredible skill? Do you enjoy quilting? Woodworking? Baking? Crochet? What is your skill, your hobby? Turn that hobby into a gift! If you make hand crafted items plan ahead and make Christmas gifts! I have given quilts, rugs, cookies, pictures and photography items. I have used my hobbies and skills to generate hand crafted items.
Your friends and family will love the thought and appreciate the time you spend to create these one of a kind items! It speaks volumes of your attention! I once worked on a large team of people and I didn’t want to spend the money to buy each person a gift but I wanted to show my appreciation at Christmas. I made 45 sock snowmen, one for each person! It took time and planning...but it cost me pennies to make and the appreciation from my coworkers was astronomical! It just took time and planning!
So your not crafty you say? You can make a coupon book and offer your services. Friends that have a young child...offer baby sitting services so that they can have a date night. Offer to work on their landscaping, clean their house, take a home cooked meal! in our busy world, those are the gifts that are appreciated...and cost little but your time!
Ok, so you don’t want to make hand crafted gifts. And you don’t have room for a Christmas box to stock up on random items. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be thinking about Christmas now. Plan how much you want to spend on Christmas for next year. Use this year as your example budget. And then figure out how much you can put aside (or need to put aside) into savings each week. Don’t tough that savings account until it’s time to shop for Christmas! That money is sacred!!!! Start saving now so that come December you won’t be struggling to find money to give gifts...or worse yet going into debt!
Christmas seems far away, but it is time to plan. It is time to come up with a game plan and think about what route you want to follow when it comes to Christmas gifts for next year. If you want to avoid the crazy drain on your wallet and the inevitable debt, plan now!!!
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