There are plenty of Christmas in July celebrations for you to participate in. From parties to hot sales, the fact is that preparing for Christmas early is a smart choice financially. It will save you money and stress, allowing you to actually enjoy the colors and festivities of the holiday when it actually rolls around.
Making a List
Make a list of the people you will shop for, the decorations you need and the baking you normally do. Take a few moments to consider everything you spend money on from gift wrap to saran wrap and gifts. With a thorough list in hand, or saved on your smartphone, you will be prepared to take advantage of great deals when you stumble across them. It’s also a good idea to have a place in the home for stashing the goodies when you buy them. Whether it’s an unused crawlspace, the attic or a locked cupboard, you will need somewhere to hide your careful preparations from nosy children and sneaky spouses.
Budgeting for the Holidays
It’s easier to spend money on gifts if you can spread the budget out over several months. The easiest way to avoid charging items at the last minute, it takes the financial pinch out of the holidays. Set aside some money every month and buy a few gifts at a time. Before you know it, you will have a fantastic holiday waiting for the kids. You can even wrap the gifts early to avoid last minute rushing. Remember to make a list of what you have purchased and for whom, so you won’t accidentally spend too much on any one person.
Sales are Year-Round
There was a time when the best sales happened right before Christmas, but that trend is changing. Businesses are trying to increase sales every quarter now, not just in the month before the big day. You can find sales worthy of Black Friday every weekend of the year now, you just have to be willing to look through the ads. The huge sales don’t usually overlap, so you won’t have to get up at three in the morning, fight crowds or rush from one store to another.
The gifts aren’t the only expense associated with the lovely Christmas holiday. The decorations can also leave your checkbook moaning in pain. Fortunately, you can start stocking up on those beautiful red, gold and green accents now. Shop online auction sites for magnificent vintage decorations, and scour the Internet for marvelous new ones. You can find great deals this time of year, and spreading the purchases out will help you avoid financial pain when you start decorating for the holiday. An added bonus is that you can start putting your decorations our earlier, allowing you to avoid some of the holiday stress and rush.
Do not underestimate the expense of baking all those Christmas cookies, pies and cakes. The pounds of flour and sugar can add up quickly, leaving you struggling to buy the regular groceries for the family. Fortunately, many of these staples have a long shelf life. Make your life easier and less hectic by picking up the extra goodies now and storing them for the fall. Good items to stock up on include cans of pie filling, flour, sugar, chocolate chips, confectioner’s sugar and the various extracts.
A little preparation now will help you prepare yourself for the busy holidays. Avoid the painful financial pinch of waiting until the last minute, and ensure that you have a fantastic Christmas this year. Not only will you have plenty of gifts to go around, but you will also be avoid to avoid the usual rush and stress of the season.
Guest author Barbara Day is a volunteer party coordinator who uses santasquarters.com to add a touch of magic to her holiday season and suggests Santa’s Quarters to all her friends.