Christmas is getting closer as stores start stocking the shelves with all the holiday items we all know and love. Every year I end up shaking my head after all the toys and junk my kids got lay in their toy boxes untouched for the next 3 weeks until I decide to take them to the consignment shop. My kids as well as everyone else in the world could live life better with a little less junk. So how do we ensure that our hard earned money doesn't just go up in smoke? This is my plan this year:
1. Make a list and check it twice. Make a list of everyone you will be buying for this year and double check that you didn't forget anyone. Once you have it made stick to it and do not add any more names. I always add in 4 extra small boxes of chocolates 5 dollars or less to give to those surprise gift givers that somehow end up slipping me a gift without notice. It is good to be prepared.
2. Start buying gifts you find on sale that you know your loved one will actually use or thoroughly enjoy. Don't think great grandma needs that 800th porcelain trinket when she could really use some of her favorite tea, toiletries, photo calendar, favorite movie or book.
3. Start some Christmas baking and crafting if that's your thing and give your loved ones something that comes from the heart. Hey if canning is your thing buy some berries and make some jam. Maybe your a really good babysitter, give your busy family members a break from their kids or offer to clean their house or make them dinner.
4. Do some of your shopping online and take advantage of the sales. If you are an avid Swagbucks user or take part in any other survey companies you can use the points or cash you earn towards your online shopping. Not only does shopping online save you money by sale prices but when you shop online it is impossible for you to be sucked into buying a bunch of junk you never wanted to begin with.
5. Do a secret Santa with the grown ups in your family. This is a great idea for those of you with huge families, make all the adults draw names and only buy gifts for the person they draw. It is so easy to go crazy at Christmas time and buy everything for everyone but what is the point if it doesn't fit your budget, it puts you in debt, or creates an extremely tight and uncomfortable budget after the holidays when your trying to play catch up.
So I will be using every single idea listed here this year to save money on Christmas and enjoy the season without stressing over money and the crazy amount of people I need to buy gifts for. Take it easy this Christmas and enjoy your family the way you want.