Friday, September 3, 2010

Saving Early For Christmas

Now I know it is a bit early to be thinking about Jingle Bell Rock, but the early bird always catches the worm right? Well, that's what my mother always drilled in my head... Anyways, here are 10 tips you can take advantage of to start that early Xmas saving!
5 Ways to Save Money at Christmas – Holiday Gift Shopping Tips

1. Visualize your perfect Christmas holiday.
For some people, Christmas isn’t Christmas without piles of gifts. But for most people, the holidays really are about family, friends, fun and peace. Visualize how you can bring those values into your holiday celebrations. Then, stand by your goals. Inform “gift-grubbing” friends or family that you want to make the holidays more meaningful this year, and explain you’re finding ways to share experiences, rather than giving expensive gifts. Limit gifts to one per person. By setting expectations early, you can avoid holiday disappointment.

2. Plan and budget for Christmas spending first.
Much holiday stress is caused by finances and lack of planning. Before the mall’s holiday tunes jingle your willpower away, think practically about holiday spending. To learn about saving money every day of the year, click on A Tip a Day With Ellie Kay: 12 Months Worth of Money Saving Ideas. And to save money at Christmas, plan for holiday season spending early. Remember to include:
  • Everyone you’ll give a gift to and how much you plan to spend
  • Cards and postage
  • Decorations
  • Entertaining, including food, drink, special garments, child care, etc.
  • Year-end tips for newspaper carriers, babysitters, housecleaners, doormen, hairdressers and other service providers
  • Gifts for teachers, doctors, neighbors or others close to your family
  • Travel costs
To save money, just buy what you need. Don’t go Christmas shopping until you look at your bills, your checkbook, and your savings balance.

3. Take inventory before holiday gift shopping.
A painless tip is to scour your closets, under your bed or anywhere you might have stashed your clever, early purchases.

4. Start Christmas shopping online — early.
Avoid the stress of malls altogether, skip the temptation of store displays, and steer clear of the hassle of fighting over holiday gifts. Research the best Christmas gifts early and look for free shipping deals.

5. Time your holiday gift shopping right.
If you really need to go to a mall, avoid the busiest times to avoid stress. If possible, go early in the day when stores open or late on a weeknight. Take advantage of many stores’ extended hours during the holiday season. Monday night at 9 p.m. can be very quiet, even in mid-December.

Like I said, I knwo it might be a bit early to start thinking about Christmas but it's always a good idea to have a plan of attack and start budgeting early. If you have any holiday saving tips, give us a shout back and let us know how you keep your wallets full during the Ho-Ho-Ho season!

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