I don’t want you to panic, but as of today, you have roughly four months and ten days until Christmas.
I’m not a big Christmas shopper, but I am a big PRE Christmas shopper when it comes to gifts. I honestly do pay attention when friends and family mention what they love or what they’re missing. Obviously I can’t lavish big gifts on them, but I try to show them how much they’re loved in smaller ways.
My mother loves Elvis and cameo pendants. Elvis is easy to find, but a high quality cameo…not so easy. Still, I keep my radar up in case something good comes along. When I go to antique stores or estate sales, I’m always on the lookout for that elusive cameo.
The other big issue for people is where to find the money.
We just had a big garage sale. Not only did we make enough to buy two new goats, but a lot of other big ticket items we would’ve put off buying otherwise.
It’s probably safe to assume most of us have too much stuff–stuff we don’t need and probably aren’t aware we have unless we trip over them. Start now and sell off your unwanted goods.
There’s always, Craigslist, Amazon, Etsy, and Ebay too. You still have time to host a yard sale too. Split the work by doing it with a friend.
Saving for a Christmas Fund
If you want to save money with a goal in mind, divide the total amount you need for gifts by 17. That’s the number of full weeks we have until Christmas–as of today.
If you set aside $30 a week, you’ll have $510 by Christmas; a pretty good chunk of change.
How do you save $30 a week?
Well, you can brown bag it to work for a while, or do without the lattes and morning muffins, or after work drinks. You can cancel subscriptions like cable, fancy cell phone packages, or gym memberships.
Do odd jobs and side jobs. Take a babysitting job or clean someone’s house. Mow some yards, or rake leaves. There are lots of jobs many of us can’t do or don’t want to do. Sometimes it’s as simple as putting a little ad on Craigslist or letting your friends know you’re available.
I find it easier to plan my Christmas shopping many months earlier. My Amazon Wish List is stocked with items I’m watching to see if the price fluctuates. If I start seeing some dramatic drops, I grab them there and then.
All our big bills tend to fall in January/February like real estate taxes, and house and car insurance, so I’m very careful not to add fuel to the fire. That’s the biggest reason I prefer to Christmas shop early.
When do you start thinking about Christmas shopping? Do you save up for it, or wait for the bills to roll in come January?