9 Tips for Budgeting Your Holiday Season

The shopping season is coming again. Here are 9 tips for budgeting your holiday season to allow you to not only enjoy the time spent with your family and friends, but make it an affordable holiday as well.

1.  Shop early can save some money.  Begin holiday shopping during the summer months at stores that have sales every week.

2.  Make your holiday shopping list ahead of time.  Estimate how much you are willing to spend for each person and stick to it.  Keep in mind that in January you will be getting those bills and may find it difficult to pay them off.

3.  Pay off all your holiday expenses beforehand.  You can accomplish this by shopping early and paying with cash.  This will decrease the amount of bills you receive after the holiday season is over.  Moreover, you will feel terrific!

4.  Buy ornaments, wrapping, bows, and decorations early.  How early?  The day after Christmas is when every card and ornament is on sale for as much as 50% to 75% off.  If you can make it a point to buy these items after Christmas, you will have enough to carry you through the next two or three years.

5.  Open a Christmas club account at your bank.  It’s very simple and a great way to save for the holiday season.  You can start in February and put away as little as $5.00 a week.  By October, you will a nice little check to use to purchase gifts.

6.  Create your own decorations.  This can be a wonderful experience for the whole family.  Everyone can pitch in and make ornaments for the trip, wrap gifts with newspaper, or decorated bags.  Make holiday cards on your computer, send out holiday cards through the internet, and make your own holiday gifts as well.  

7.  Buy gifts online can save you time standing on long lines at department stores and save some money as well.

8.  Use coupons to buy holiday gifts.

9.  If you have set up a budget for gift giving, why not give gift cards.  They have become very popular over the last several years.  In this way, you can set a limit to the amount you wish to spend and, at the same time, the recipient will be able to buy a gift they need or want.

The holiday season is a time of celebration:  caring for all the people in our lives that we love and cherish.  A present is just the icing on the cake!

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