Christmas can be a very expensive holiday. Especially if you wait until the last second to start shopping. If you wait until December 20th to start shopping it could set you back a few months. I have some ideas that have helped me ease the pain financially for Christmas.
Start a Christmas Savings Account
I love online savings account. There are so many out there. Ally, Capital One 360, American Express etc. Don’t open one up for the interest. Do it for the storage. Its so easy to put a few bucks away every single week and have it be out of site, out of mind. And whatever you want to save can be your budget. If you save $15 per week for 52 weeks that’s $780 in a year and that can be your budget.
If you shop with your friend, it’s almost a guarantee that you will spend more! You will end up buying yourself things or being influenced to buy this or that. Its’ better to just be by yourself and make logical purchases.
Waiting until December is bad enough. Waiting later than that is even worse. I would start keeping an eye out for good deals and ideas in September or October. September is a good month to start listening and jotting down ideas in your phone when you over-hear your loved one say they could use this or they would like that. From there, you can start watching for deals when you’re out and about.
Look for Discounts
Do you ever go to Target and see the $1-3 section practically right in the entryway? That has stocking stuffers written all over it! That, along with the dollar store. Costco is an underrated place for Christmas shopping. A lot of good deals on big items. And of course, there’s the mighty Amazon!
Open a Discover IT Card(for responsible people only!)
A lot of people will think its a contradiction to recommend a credit card in a ‘How to Save Money’ blog. But the reason I like the Discover IT card in this case is because they give 5% cash back when you make purchases at Amazon, Target or Wal-Mart.com during the months of October, November and December. Also, Discover has a reward called ‘Cashback Match’ where they match whatever you earn in cash back the first year. If you earn $100 the first year, you will get an additional $100. If you’re strict to your budget and will most likely make purchases at those stores. Why not get some of that money back?
I hope this article was helpful. These tactics have helped provide great Christmas for my loved ones while giving me some breathing room to recover afterwards.