Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus…
I feel like every year my expenses are unfortunately growing rather than shrinking. This year I can add a car payment to the list and in order to avoid blowing up a credit card bill I am definitely tied to a much tighter budget. That being said, I love shopping for friends and family during this time of year so I am sharing my tips to live buy especially if you find yourself with a little less discretionary income this time of year.
First thing I do each year as soon as November hits is make a list of who I plan to buy gifts for. From there I start taking requests. We all know there are some of us who every Christmas know exactly what they want and that makes it easy on me! As I get requests I fill them out next to each person I am shopping for with a small check box next to it so as I shop I can check things off.
I then start to decide how much I think I can afford to spend on each person. My sister and I agree how much to spend on each other so that’s easy to set aside. I write my budget next to each person’s name so that if there is any left over for them I can fill it in with smaller gifts.
From here, its up to me to do the shopping! The fun part! As Black Friday starts to roll in I will start stalking the websites that I need to shop and I typically make a goal to look for a sale that will get me anywhere from 30-50% off the original price of the item. If I feel that the deal is good enough I’ll pull the trigger and head to the store or order the item!
Another helpful tip is to try and split your Christmas shopping across a paycheck or two. This can help you avoid charging it all to a credit card or leaving you strapped for cash at the end of the month. This year, I split my shopping across two different paychecks and only purchased things on Black Friday/Cyber Monday that were deeply discounted.
If you are extremely tight on money for the holidays don’t feel the pressure to buy what you cannot afford. This year I am planning to surprise my mom with a closet organization while she is out of the house for her birthday/Christmas. I know she’ll be so thankful not to have to do that big job all on her own. It’s simple acts of kindness like that that are appreciated more than you realize!
HO HO HO friends!