Before I get into today’s post, I just wanted to quickly reference that this is my 100th post. Thank to everyone who keeps checking out my blog and giving me reasons to write! On to it…
Did you know that there are only 100 days left until Christmas?
While some folks are still enjoying the last few official days of summer, or eagerly anticipating Halloween, I have already turned my mind to snow and ornaments and presents.
Early preparations are key to ensure the holidays don’t sneak up on you and leave you no time or money to enjoy them.
Here are my top tips for preparing for the holidays.
Stash the cash. Put aside a little bit of money each month so you have a stockpile come Christmas to help ease the financial burden of the season. We save $50 every month and then come December, there is $600 just waiting for me to spend on presents.
Buy presents throughout the year. Last year I had most of my shopping complete 2 months before Christmas and it felt so good to know I wouldn’t be stressed leading up to Christmas (unlike M to saves all his shopping for the 24th!) Just make sure to keep track of what you’ve bought (and where you’ve hidden it!) so you don’t double up. I do this in a spreadsheet but a piece of paper in your wallet or on the fridge works just as well!
Make a list and a budget. Before you even hit the stores (or the websites), make a list of who you need presents for and how much you want to spend. It is easy to go overboard with the excitement of shopping. Also, have an idea of what you want to buy so you don’t waste time fighting through the aisles during the busy season.
Don’t pay full price for anything. There are so many options out there for saving money… coupons, sales, online codes, points cards. Take advantage of these when buying for the holiday season. For example, I’ve already put in a pre-order for a movie that is not yet released because the price is 30% cheaper than it will be when it is available in stores.
Make an electronic Christmas card mailing list. Use a spreadsheet to document contact information for your Christmas card recipients and update it throughout the year whenever someone moves or gets married. For me, having this information electronic is great because I can then easily make labels and save the effort of writing our the names and addresses for all the cards we send.
Try to make it personal. Here is a tip I am looking to implement myself this year. With every gift I give, I am going to try in include a personal connection to the person I am giving it to. I find that gift cards are such an easy go-to but I want to bring back the look of excitement when someone opens a gift and knows that thought and effort went into selecting it. That being said, I am going to try to DIY some gifts this year!
What are your tips for preparing for the holidays?