The holidays are here. You can practically smell it. The excitement is already building up. The turkey, the family gatherings, the Christmas lights, the presents you need to buy, THE MONEY YOU’RE GOING TO SPEND, the DEBT you’re going to go into.
I’m giving myself whiplash, that list escalated quickly.
I have to say Christmas holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love Thanksgiving simply for the fact that it’s right before Christmas. I also love my family and friends. Who, like most of y’all, are the source of my holiday stress. Especially since I have three young nephews. And buying them all gifts is going to be challenging because I want to get them everything they want.
So, what is a frugal girl to do?
Have no fear I’m going to teach you a couple of tricks to make sure that you don’t lose your mind and all your money during this Christmas holiday season.
First thing first, the holidays are a time for you to spend with your family and friends. It is a time to enjoy the ones that are in your Life.
A time for family get togethers, arguments, but mostly joy and laughter. You are going to want to spend all your money on these amazing people that are in your life. It only makes sense. But while enjoying them let’s be wise and end the yeah right. So here are some tips to help you do that.
Write Everyone Down
I preach, live, breathe planning because it is a sure way to make sure you get everything done.
Come on people we are adulting and adults are good at planning. So instead of going to the store and just buying everything on your mental list.
Stop, sit down, and write things down.
List the names of everyone who you want to buy a gift for. I mean everyone, don’t mental list anyone at all. Why is this important?
Because this guarantees no one is left out.There is nothing worse than lying in bed the day before Christmas and having the realization that you forgot to buy tiny Tim a gift. (Poor boy Y’all know he’s sickly).The next thing you know tiny Tim dies. Okay I admit that’s a little extreme, but you get the point.
Listing everyone not only saves Tim’s life but yours as well. When you list everyone, you need to shop for on paper, or phone, (it really doesn’t matter where you write this list just write it) then your stress level goes down because no one is forgotten. And you can sleep easy and your husband won’t think you’re crazy because you’re no longer jumping out of bed screaming about how you forgot Tim.
Budget Budget Budget
Even during the holidays, you can’t escape this word.
A budget is something that you should be doing year-round. It’s something that keeps you on task. Without a budget, your money is waving goodbye into the nothing, the void, the abyss, the money sucking abyss.
As hard as it is to say, a budget is your best friend no matter the time of year. And now that you wrote everyone down who needs your loving gift assigned a dollar amount to all of them. Restrict your gifts to a dollar amount.
For example, I wrote down all my friends and next to all their names I put a dollar amount of what I am willing to spend on their gifts. I did the same for my nephews, my parents, sisters, and so on.
After wards I total all the dollars amounts together so that I have an idea of how much I am going to need to budget out of my monthly/by-weekly budget.
This way I don’t have to go in debt or outside my means to show the ones I love that I was thinking about them.
What Everyone Likes?
Next list at least two to three things that are within your set budget for everyone. Of course you wish you can buy everyone what they want, like the bug stuff but sometimes the little things matter the most. Plus we are on a budget.
So, sit down and think about those people on your list, think of their hobbies, likes, and what they value and put those things on the list.
Once you have the list with what everyone likes, and everything budgeted out then you are ready to embark on the shopping journey. Now you are not going to be like those who are running up and down the store clueless. No, you are a smart adult who is shopping with a purpose and therefore not spending all the money in your pocket on one person.
Write Down the STORES!!!
I’m sorry that title was a little hostile, but important. I love the mall don’t get me wrong, but I am not about walking into every store to check things out.
I want to shop with a purpose in mind and I want you to do that too. When you go to the mall with the list and no particular store in mind then you are not making the most of your budget or your time. The big things about the mall is that different store’s sell things for a different price.
That is why it is imperative that you write down what stores can save you the most money and actually work with your budget. If you don’t then you’re going to go over budget.
However, if you write down a couple of stores than you know where you’re going and what you’re buying.
Moreover, writing the stores down save you money on gas. I live in Florida and we have to practically drive everywhere. So most times when I shop I make sure I know where I am going because gas is not cheap and stores are not close to each other.
But if you write down the stores that work with you budget you won’t have to drive to multiple locations on a whim. All you have to do is drive to set locations therefore saving you even more money.
SHOP SHOP SHOP 🎁
Now you’re all set, so go out there and purchase the gifts for those you love. It’s really that’s simple and that easy. Now you can enjoy a stress free holiday, and you get to enjoy all the ones you love. Then when Christmas roles around you can just sit back and watch the smile on their faces as they open the gifts you purchased.
And while everyone is opening their girft you can smile secretly to yourself because you did not go broke this Christmas season. By the way tip 1 through 4 and the bonus tip can be use independently of each other. By they are suppose to work best together. If you need to make a list make a list, and if you need to just budget then just budget. But have a plan. Don’t go to the store with no plan because you will leave in debt.
Wait it’s not over I have one more tip better yet a secret. Here’s the secret that frugal living people should know and adhere by.
You know that second gift you had on your list, wait for the holiday to be over and everything goes on sale and purchase it then.
Save it at the top of your closet or someplace safe that no one can find it and when Christmas comes around next year pull it out and wrap it.
Voila you just saved yourself time and money. Check that person off your list for next year because they are taken care off. You have just planned ahead and are able To Live Freely.