If you are like me, you wait until the last minute to start worrying about Christmas stuff. Every year, I wait as long as possible and then get all stressed out worrying about buying presents and having enough money. I decided after this past Christmas to start planning for Christmas as early as possible.
I am a procrastinator by nature. I usually shop at the last minute for everything; however, this often leads to more money spent around Christmas. By planning my list and saving money immediately after Christmas is done one year, I can shop the sales all year and use a little money each month to shop for the upcoming Christmas.
Sure, it would be nice to buy stuff for Christmas for every person I know, but I am not a rich woman, so this isn't feasible. Instead, I write out a list of people who I must buy stuff for like my children and my spouse. Once that list is done, I make a list of people who I would like to buy for like siblings and friends. Once I buy for those on my must buy list, I start on the maybe list. When the money is gone, I am done shopping.
Instead of focusing on how much I spend on a product, I focus on the value. For example, if a CD that I want to buy for someone is on sale for $9.99 when the regular price is $14.99, I count the $14.99 as the amount I paid because that is the value of the product. The person who is getting the gift will never have to know that I spent less than that unless I tell her. The same goes if I use coupons for the gifts.
I buy discounted gift cards online from websites like GiftCardGranny. I also earn Amazon e-cards on SwagBucks. When I combine these with coupons, discounts on the products and sales, I can get nice gifts for a fraction of the regular price.
I am not saying to make cheap looking Christmas gifts. If you choose to make gifts for someone, think of a gift that they will actually use. A grandparent, for example, may enjoy a scrapbook of pictures of the family. Someone with an infant may enjoy it if you knit, quilt or crochet a blanket for the baby. Think of the person you need a gift for and consider what you can use your talent to make that the person will cherish.
Christmas doesn't have to break the bank. Plan ahead and think outside of the box and you can actually enjoy the Christmas season instead of worrying about debt.
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