Summer is winding down, and you are focused on Back-To-School shopping. Then Fall goes as quickly as it arrived, and before you know it the holidays will be here. We have all done it. One day you glance at the calendar, realize that it is already December, and you begin to frantically start counting the number of paychecks you will receive before Christmas morning.
For once, don’t you want to be that annoying person that already has all of their gifts purchased and wrapped the first week of December? Wouldn’t it feel amazing to be one of those people that have a pile of money stashed aside specifically for Christmas presents, so they don’t have to overdraft their bank account or ask their landlord for an extension on their rent? Well, you could be! But, you have to start preparing now…no more procrastinating.
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September hasn’t even arrived, and it truly is difficult to get in the Christmas spirit. But, trust me, if you get to work now – not only will you have one of the most stress-free Christmases EVER, when Christmas does actually arrive you will actually catch the holiday spirit and not have to fake it. We put together a list of tips and tricks to start preparing for Christmas now, so you won’t have a financial hole to climb out of for months after the holiday, or have an emotional and financial breakdown during the holiday season.
Take Advantage Of End-Of-Summer Clearances
Stores everywhere have clearance off their summer merchandise at ridiculously low prices to make room for all of the holiday items. Now is the perfect time to get one of the special men in your life that over-the-top grill he has always wanted. Or, you can check out the outdoor toys for the kiddos. Trampolines, Sandboxes, and bicycles are being sold for 50-75% off right now! And, don’t forget to stock up on summer clothes and shoes for next year. Sure, they won’t be able to wear them on Christmas morning, but next summer they will have a whole drawer of brand new clothes waiting to be worn after the snow melts.
Several stores like K-Mart and Walmart have Layaway programs. And, now is the time to start putting things on Layaway. Think about it, if your buy $500 worth of presents, place them on Layaway and pay $50 every other week, within two months it will be paid off and you will have a majority of your holiday shopping done AND paid for before December even arrives.
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Every year we all vow to make our loved ones more sentimental presents, master a craft, and save a ton of money on Christmas shopping by knitting everyone sweaters and matching scarves…it never happens. Knitting sweaters may be a bit overenthusiastic, but if you want to try and learn how to make some presents for your loved ones, you should start now. That quilt you always wanted to give your mother, or those amazing scented candles for your neighbors, or hand-painted signs for your kids’ rooms – you could have them all done by Christmas if you start now, and you could save some money in the process!
A Present A Week
So you are horrible at saving money and craft-challenged. You might want to try the “Present A Week” method. Rather than trying to save money or crochet mittens – you can consider purchasing one present every week from now until Christmas. They don’t have to be huge or extravagant presents, but the little things do start to add up. Think about it, right now there are roughly 20 weeks until Christmas. If you buy one present for someone on your list every paycheck from now until Christmas, then that will be 20 less presents that you are scrambling around and trying to buy during the month of December!
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