How to Save Money by Planning for Christmas Early

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to Save Money by Planning for Christmas Early

Red Snowflake Crunchy Candy Cane Dark Chocolate Truffles 6 oz. Box: 1 CountLetting Christmas sneak up on you pretty much guarantees that you’ll be shelling out money for a lot of last minute items but likely a lot of products and services with jacked up prices as well.  You’ll probably be trying to stretch a Christmas fund you’ve taken no time to save for and budgeting will seem like a lost cause.  With a little advance preparation you can avoid the blind panic that comes with scrambling to put together a lovely Christmas at the very last minute. 

Make Lists (Lots and Lots of Lists)

Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for. Then, figure out how much you can spend on gifts and assign a value limit to each person.  If your budget starts looking like it’s going to be a $2 per person kind of Christmas, get out the Santa pen and start crossing people off your list.  We would all love to get a present for everyone we know but when money’s tight it’s important to prioritize your spending and avoid going into major debt over the holidays just so you can appease your nagging commercial Christmas spirit. 

Your list making doesn’t end with the gift giving one.  You’ll need to make another list for expected expenses.  If you buy a certain amount of decoration at Christmas keep these expenditures in mind.  Not only will this give you time to start saving enough for what you think you’ll spend, it also gives you the opportunity to keep your eyes open for gifts or necessities that are on sale earlier in the year. The more gifts and expenses that can be purchased and crossed off your list early in the year, the better off you’ll be when Christmas rolls around.

Homemade Gifts and Decorations

If you’re a crafty type of person and you’ve given yourself enough time to prepare for Christmas, you can save quite a bit of money by making some of your Christmas items by hand.  A good idea is to hit the sales right after Christmas and buy up all that garland and left over ornaments in the discount bins.  Throughout the year you could probably come up with some pretty spectacular set of decorations for a fraction of what you’d spend during the holiday season. 

With plenty of time to make homemade gifts you should investigate for gift ideas from your friends and come up with personalized and heartfelt gifts.  Putting together a scrapbook of your favourite memories with photos is an incredibly thoughtful gift that usually would take quite a bit of time but can be easily finished in time if started earlier in the year.

Start a Christmas Savings Fund

Thinking about Christmas early enough in the year will give you a chance to put some money aside.  Making a budget early will give you a clear idea of how much you’ll need so you don’t feel like you’re getting slammed with Christmas expenses all at once come December.  Factor in all the dinners, parties, and presents that you’ll need to buy and don’t forget to add a little extra to the budget in case of surprises.  Having a Christmas fund ready will make a huge difference with the standard holiday stress and panic that comes with shopping, preparing, and planning for Christmas. 

Prices tend to go up around Christmas and popular toys and other products sell out.  Planning early gives you the opportunity to hit all the big summer sales and will save you a ton of money, stress, and grief.  Sign up for email notifications from your favourite stores so you can be alerted to any upcoming sales.  You can even feel safe shopping online for better deals since you’ll have plenty of time to wait for items to be shipped and even return anything that doesn’t satisfy you.  Getting a head start on Christmas will give you that much more time to relax and enjoy the holiday season when it finally arrives.

Title Post: How to Save Money by Planning for Christmas Early
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Author: Saka Hayang

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