Monday, November 17, 2008

Get Ready for the Holiday Rush

Don't forget to enter our giveaway which ends 11/30 at noon! As of this post, we have about 50 entries!!

If you are like me, you aren't made of money. If you are made of money, send me some or we can't be friends anymore.

So, if you aren't made of money, and you're still reading this, I urge you to get going on your Christmas shopping NOW! I've been watching the news and the latest report is that retailers are offering deals usually reserved for after Thanksgiving now. Also, stores are bracing for smaller than usual sales, so their inventory is low. Things like electronics and toys are expected to be sold-out earlier than usual which means finding that perfect gift may be more difficult to find this year if you wait.

Here are some tips for Christmas shopping in 2008:
  1. If you don't already have a budget, set one. Remember it is not the amount of money spent, but the thought that goes into the gift that really counts. A gift that cost $20 can have the same impact as a gift that cost $100 if that $20 gift really means something to the recipient. Demonstrate to your loved ones that you really know them by giving a gift that will be treasured by them.
  2. Spread out your shopping over the season instead of doing all your shopping at once. This tip will help you with your cash flow. Every pay period, I set aside some money to go shopping with. This year, I have 12 people I must shop for. I'm doing about 3 of them on every pay period so I can avoid using the credit cards.
  3. Make a list and check it often! If you can plan out what you're getting for each person on your list, you can watch the sales and purchase gifts when they go on sale. Remember a lot of retailers are giving out coupons this year. The jackpot is purchasing that gift when you have both a sale and a coupon. This requires some planning, but will really save you a lot of money in the end.
  4. Skip the card with the gift. Make a homemade card or just add a "to/from" tag instead. This could be a huge savings for your family. Line Hallmark's pockets on other holidays!
  5. Consider gifts that last a lifetime. Last year, our daughter was 6 weeks old on Christmas Day. What do you get a 6 week old? Instead of getting her a toy she'd never remember, we purchased her a precious gemstone. This is a gift that will last a lifetime for her; however, this was a lot more expensive than a normal budgeted gift. This year, since she's just 1 and probably will not remember what we got her, we are getting her a donation to her college fund. This is a great gift for little ones who will outgrow those clothes or toys you're tempted to give them.
  6. Don't forget charity. Keep room in your budget for charity this year. With the economic downturn, many charities are having to cut back this holiday season. Since many charities help those who can't afford Christmas this year, consider doing your part to spread Christmas cheer. Some great Charities that you can give to are: Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army, and your local food pantry or church. This could be a great new Christmas tradition for your family.
Got great tips for Christmas shopping this season? Let us hear them!


Allyson Kellner said...

Thanks for all the tips! I'm glad I don't have any money, so we can still be friends! :-)

Christy said...

Would you get off my back about the budget thing already?! Jimminy Cricket, I'm trying,OK?!
;0) Sorry, just a little stressed out, can ya tell?

Mandie said...

Christy: our budget is pretty simple. It is a $ amount set that we won't exceed for each person! *wink, wink*