This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure for more information.
My mom always made sure she was prepared for Christmas. She prepped the food, cleaned the house, and made sure everyone had their task completed before the family gathered. If there was one thing she mastered, it was purchasing gifts. She began shopping in January and was always able to get everything on her list because she was able to catch sales all year-long! Although I haven’t become that savvy yet, I still like to have a plan of attack. This year I’m giving gift boxes filled with the receiver’s favorite things. I’ve made the lists of items and had to start saving to make sure I reach my goal.
I know so many people who wait until the week before Christmas to shop for gifts and dinner and more often than not, they end up overspending. Christmas is just 10 weeks away so this week I have three savings plans options ($500, $300, and $250) for you to get you prepared for the holidays! Saving for gifts ahead of time allows you to have a stress-free and debt-free holiday season! Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to worry about gathering money up money at the last-minute? I’ve also included a few ways to get the most out of your Christmas budget.
Download one of the Christmas Savings Plans now and get a head start on your holiday savings now.
Buy Gifts they Like. Period. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I buy great gifts. The most important rule is to buy people what they like, not what you think they’d like. I see so many people re-gifting because those people hate their gifts. For instance, I’m not a Bath and Body Works/ Victoria Secret wearing girl. I have tons of lotions and sprays that it’s overtaken my bathroom drawers. So I started using them as gifts for bridal shower and wedding shower games. I don’t know how many times I have told my friends that I do wear lotions and perfumes but I still get them as gifts. If your person wants to redecorate her home, buy them an item they’ve been wanting (towels, pictures, etc). Don’t be afraid to ask them a list of things so you can purchase what’s in your budget. One of my friends wants to do voiceover acting, so I bought her book and a microphone to get her started. Don’t be afraid to purchase practical gifts. I don’t like to purchase kitchen appliances but I need them so I love it when I get those items as gifts items so I don’t have fit them into my budget (winning).
Use Ebates as much as possible. There are so many cash back reward sites that’ll pay you to shop at your favorite stores, but Ebates is my all time favorite. It’s probably because I’ve heard so much money simply using their site. For example, I shop Barnes and Nobles and Amazon a lot so I make sure I go to the Ebates site and then click on their links. No matter what I order, I know I’ll earn cash back that I can use towards presents any anything else I want. You can even order items from Wal-Mart through their store and select pick up in-store so you save on shipping and earn cash back. How cool is that? Click here to get started.
Create a meal plan now. I like to cook a small meal at home even if we are going to a relative’s or friend’s house. I mean come on, who doesn’t like endless leftovers for a few days? I budget for at least one meat dish, two side dishes, and a desert.
Remember to budget for decor. I was able to snag a pre-lit Christmas tree last year for $11 on Black Friday. I already had them in mind but before I went crazy, I checked to see what items I had on hand. I budgeted $50 but only spent an additional $20 on decor because I already had items that went with my theme colors and I shopped in the Dollar Tree and the dollar spots at Wal-Mart and Target. Also remember to include wrapping paper, tape, bows, etc.
Limit the number of gift recipients. For the past year or two, my husband and I have only purchased gifts for each other and our nephew. Prior to marriage, my family used to draw names on Thanksgiving. We’d set a budget and write three things we wanted. That alleviated the pressure of having to purchase gifts for everyone in the family.
Include any holiday traditions. Determine any monetary costs that falls into this category. This may include building gingerbread houses, purchasing Christmas movies, etc.
Remember incidentals. I always put away $20 or $30 for things I forget to buy. I don’t care how much I plan;I always forget something I need for a recipe or gift. I mean it never fails so putting a little money aside for this will keep you debt free.
What is your best tip for having a stress and debit free holiday season?
How to Have a Debt Free Christmas was seen first on Hobbies and Cents.