Start Planning Now for Christmas

I could not resist reminding you to begin thinking about your gift giving plans for the Christmas season. It is even more important to start early if you know money is going to be tight around your house this year. Now before you press that go back button at the top of your screen, hear me out. After all I am a planner and we all know that planners are savers and they usually get the biggest bang for every buck. So what should you begin doing five months out? I’m glad you asked.

If you plan to give gifts this year, start by making your list of recipients and come up with at least two to three gift ideas for each person. If you are stumped about what to give this year, I am sure even the pickiest person would welcome gift cards for gas and groceries. Once you’ve completed your list, your final step is to decide how much to spend per person.

The following are just reminders to help you stay within your set spending limits:

Seasonal Items
Remember that seasonal items usually go on sale this month. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up some great items at a steal. Be creative and keep in mind that a good gift is not always something that someone has to use right away. In fact, there is nothing like eagerly awaiting a change of season to use something totally awesome.

Summer Toy Clearance
Another thing to keep in mind is that major retailers like Wal-mart and Target generally have a major toy clearance sale around this time of year as they prepare to stock their shelves with new merchandise for the holidays. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up a gift for all of the kids on your list. It is best to check as soon as the sale begins and regularly for additional discounts. I recall from previous experience that discounts can go as high as 75 percent off in the final days.

Christmas Sales Will Start Earlier This Year
I’d also like to remind you that sales are starting earlier and earlier every year. Similar to the deals that were offered by companies like Best Buy and Circuit City when the tax rebate checks started showing up, because the economy is in such dire shape, you can expect to score major deals on big ticket items. This makes it all the more important to begin tracking the prices of must have items now so that you’ll know whether a deal is too good to pass up.

Finally, in addition to planning and budgeting ahead of time, the shopper that will save the most this holiday season, will frequent coupon websites like WOWCoupons.com, look out for friends and family coupon notices and codes, check local advertisements regularly, and ask others to lookout for hot items such as the Nintendo Wii which no retailer seems to be able to keep in stock.

More Family Finance:

http://extension.usu.edu/utah/htm/family-finance

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/fch/healthy-families/family-finances

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Money/Personal-Finance.shtml

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle Sharrow

Michelle P. Sharrow, MBA author and editor of Family Finance, is based in Waldorf, Maryland, she holds a Masters Degree with a concentration in Finance. Michelle provides a monthly column on ways to help families maintain their finances and stick to a budget titled, Budgeting and Savings for Families.
Michelle Sharrow
https://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2015/11/christmas-2971961_1280-1024x682.jpghttps://imgsub.familiesonlinemagazine.com/uploads/2015/11/christmas-2971961_1280-150x150.jpgMichelle SharrowFamily FinanceStart Planning Now for Christmas By Michelle P. Sharrow, MBAI could not resist reminding you to begin thinking about your gift giving plans for the Christmas season. It is even more important to start early if you know money is going...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids