Have you started your holiday shopping?
While you are most likely focused on another kind of (summer) holiday, there is no time like the present to be thinking ahead to holidays of another description- the holiday season in December.
Now, before you begrudge me for trying to introduce thoughts of winter chill and crowded shopping malls as you’re lounging in your backyard, starting your shopping now- when your time and budget suit- means less stress, better budgeting and less full-contact shopping in those last weeks and days before Christmas. Planning ahead now means less debt headaches later.
Make a list
It may be hard to know exactly what it is that you’d like to buy for people this far in advance (your kids will change up their favourites at least three times before December), spend some time now to plan out who you will need to buy for.
Don’t forget all of those “extras”: bus drivers, teachers, paper carriers, crossing guards, etc. etc. These people are a part of your daily life (or your child’s), but often get overlooked- which means you end up scrambling out to the store and spending way too much at the last minute
Did you swear up and down that you were going to DIY at least part of your Christmas gifts this year? Now is the time to jump on it. While your intentions may still be as strong come December, your time will be decidedly shorter. Don’t expect to learn how to make candles/jewellery/ be crafty when you’ve got a million other things on the go.
Not only can you learn your new skill now, you can start stockpiling gifts.
Create a stash
Speaking of stockpiling gifts, incorporate part of your holiday shopping now with your monthly budgeting. Depending on what you can afford, try to cross at least a few folks off of your list every month. Right now you’ve got more choice- in terms of what you buy and how much you spend.