It’s technically still summer and autumn colors aren’t even here, but I want to talk about Christmas just a smidge. Even though we only give 2 gifts to our kids, Christmas stresses me out if I don’t plan ahead. Far AHEAD. Truthfully, sometimes I still freak out—but this helps. It’s what I’m doing today, so I thought I’d screen capture a summary of my movements and thoughts as I plan.
I made a little video for you showing how I budget for Christmas and how I buy each item at the lowest price possible. I hope it helps take some stress off of you this holiday season!
Here are the video notes plus some extra stuff that the video missed:
- Plan to set aside money every month for Christmas Gifts, and know what your total budget will be by the end of the year.
2. Make a list of all the people you need to buy for and put a dollar amount by each name. This list total should equal the amount you’ve budgeted for the year. You might want to add some extra lines for Hostess Gifts or other unexpected exchanges.
3. Next to each name, brainstorm gift ideas. I use color codes to tell me if it’s just an idea, or if I’ve placed the order etc. I also write in the actual amount spent so I can track my spending and not just the budget. If I buy more than 1 item, I add a line so each item and actual price is on it’s own line.
4. When shopping on Amazon, first make an account at camelcamelcamel.com. Then copy the item URL to camel and ask for an email alert when the price drops to your target zone. Since you’re planning NOW you can afford to wait for a better price. This is important because Amazon no longer offers partial refunds if the item drops in price after you purchase it.
5. I also belong to a discount health and wellness club that as a side benefit has a unique shopping portal. In addition to providing more than 500 toxin free products for my home and body at great prices, they’ve partnered with hundreds of stores like Old Navy, Target, Home Depot etc. When shopping through this portal I have access to extra coupon codes and discounts to use in the online shopping cart PLUS I get a cash back rebate in the mail, on every purchase! It’s only $19 a year for me to be a member, but right now they are offering a $1 special for the first year. I can’t give all the details in this post, but if you want to know more about it, you can request info here. (Your contact info goes straight to me and no one else will se it, so be sure your best email address is included.)