By creating a budget, saving up, and planning ahead you can eliminate stress and enjoy the holidays this year!
Get Creative with Gifts
Spending always increases during the holidays. According to Statista, U.S. consumers reported that they planned to spend around $752 on average on Christmas gifts in 2016 . Avoid overspending by coming up with a price point that you're comfortable with spending on gifts from the beginning. If you've been eyeing a DIY Christmas gift project on Pinterest, now is a good time to start planning so you're not swamped when November rolls around. This can be anything from home decorations, front door signs, to a pretty plate of cookies. Reduce your risk of impulse buying by creating a list of the people that you plan to either buy or make gifts for this year. This will serve as a great reminder during the holiday rush and you can start brainstorming creative gift ideas (and start making gifts) for the special people in your life now, instead of cramming it all in during the busy holiday season.
Once you have your list of gift recipients made up, include an estimate of how much money you would like to spend on each person. Update this outline as you go about your holiday shopping throughout the months. This master list will help you keep track of the gifts you've already bought while also allowing you to check names off the list as you accomplish your shopping.
There is nothing wrong with Christmas shopping year round. Go ahead and buy a gift when you see that your mom's favorite store is having a sale. This will help avoid last-minute trips to the mall on Christmas Eve, while also lightening the load on your December credit card statement.
A Penny Saved
You know the old saying “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Take this into consideration and try couponing to save money to contribute to your holiday fund. Coupons are usually in the Sunday paper for household products and groceries, and they can also be found on different store's websites. These savings may seem small, but they will add up over time!
Setting up an alternative Christmas savings account is a great tool to help you meet your savings goal. Use Money Manager to set your goal and create automated alerts to help keep yourself on track. Many companies offer the option to set aside a percentage of your paycheck into a Christmas account as well. If you'd rather set aside a specific amount each week, more power to you!
By the time the holidays roll around, you'll be surprised at how prepared you are. After all, there's nothing wrong with a little Christmas in July.