The holiday season is coming up and now is the time to start preparing for it.
1. Set Your Budget – Step one is figure out the most you want to spend. You can put together your list of people you’re going to exchange gifts with, and come up with the maximum you’ll spend. If that’s more than what you have budgeted, now is a great time to talk with people about not exchanging gifts this year. You may find that they’re relieved as well.
2. Get Creative – You can look into creating gifts as well. Apples are in season, and you could buy a bushel and make apple butter. Also look into craft malls or online craft stores like etsy to find something special that’s not expensive. Photographs from last year’s festivities make great gifts this year.
3. Group together – If you have a group of you all buying gifts for someone (like parents, grandparents, etc.), pool your money together and get one present from all of you. Another favorite idea is to draw names out of hats and only buy one present for one person in the group. Other families have rules where only kids under the age of 15 get presents, and nothing for the adults.
Another way to get creative and group together is to look at online donations to a charity that is meaningful to the recipient.
4. Don’t forget extra costs – If you need to travel for the holidays, don’t forget to add that into the budget. Often, we forget the extra costs such as gas, hotels, meals, holiday clothes, and even wrapping paper which can add up.
Keep your budget in a small book that you can keep year to year and refer to. Make notes as to things you forgot and how well you were able to stick to the budget.
Some planning now will reduce the credit card hangover in January.
Do you like to receive one big present or a lot of little ones?