If you haven’t done so already, now is the time that you should start thinking about your Christmas gift-giving plan to your friends and family. Christmas in July has many benefits that you can take advantage of in order to save money on holiday gifts.
“If you tacked on unexpected expenses to your debit or credit card or veered from your shopping list, a little early planning could go a long way toward keeping you on track this year,” says Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security at COUNTRY Financial®.
Take Advantage of Christmas In July
Boost Your Income Now
Most people look to budgeting to help them prepare for holiday gift giving. If you wait until December to start thinking about your Christmas and holiday gift giving, you will often blow your budget and spend more than you wanted to. There are two sides to every budgeting equation.
While you should look to create a budget and stick to it this holiday season, you should also consider increasing your income. Can you find a part time job? Can you start driving for a ride sharing service like Uber or Lyft? Using the Christmas in July mentality is a great way to stay on budget and buy the gifts that you want. But, you need to consider adding to your income in order to be successful.
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There are many great ways to earn extra income now to help you pay for your spending with cash this December.
Stick To Cash For Buying Gifts
You should make it a goal this holiday season not to add to your credit card debt. Do you have a list of everyone that you want to give a gift to? Do you know the amount of money that you want to spend?
You’ve got six months to start setting aside cash. Pull out an envelope and start adding cash to it. Do you save your spare change in a jar? These can be a great resource to help you easily save money for holiday gifts.
Maybe you should start considering the 52 Week Challenge. While you only have about 26 weeks left in the year, as of right now, you can
Download the Money Q&A 52 Week Challenge Worksheet here! It’s an easy way to start saving money each week for your Christmas shopping this year. If you start right now, you’ll be able to save $1,027 with the Money Q&A 52 Week Challenge Worksheet.
If you budget $50 per gift, $1,027 will let you buy over 20 gifts for your friends and family!
Buy Your Gifts Now With Christmas In July
It may seem a little counter intuitive, but now can be a great time to buy a Christmas gift for your loved ones. I like to walk through malls or stores with my wife and listen to things that she points out that she likes. It makes gift buying easy instead of having to ask her at the last minute what she might like.
I’ve got a Wunderlist set up with gift ideas for my wife and children based on off hand comments that they make throughout the year. And, if the item is on sale at some point, like a Christmas in July sale, now is the perfect time to buy the gift and save a lot of money.
I also love to stalk my wife on Pinterest and Etsy. Look at what your wife pins and adds to her favorites in Etsy. These are easy, no-brainer gifts that you know she wants.
Make A List and Stick To It
Like Santa Claus, you need a Christmas gift list. Who are you going to give gifts to this year? At some point, you have to make a hard cut and limit who receives gifts from you.
It’s like wedding planning. There are only so many guests that you can practically invite in order to keep the costs down. You have to look at your holiday gift giving in the same light. Make a list of who you want to give gifts to this year, and then consider whittling it down from there to make it realistic. Maybe Aunt Angie and your cousins only get a Christmas card and family picture this year instead of a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
Consider Skipping The Mall and Buying Online
Shopping in a store can be a huge temptation. It might benefit your wallet and limit the amount of new credit card debt you accumulate if you skipped shopping in a brick and mortar store. Once you know which gifts you want to purchase for your friends and family, consider shopping online instead of in the store. If you are patient and continuously look for deals, you can find the best prices possible for your gifts.
“Meandering through stores without a clear idea of what you want is a dangerous game to play if you lack self-control,” says Buhrmann. “If you don’t have strong boundaries and the ability to say ‘no’ to spending, you could easily give into temptation.”
Limit your spending and distractions by shopping online for your holiday gifts. Now is the time to start shopping for the holidays. Christmas in July has many benefits that you can take advantage of to save money on holiday gifts.
What about you? When do you start shopping for holiday gifts for your friends and family? Have you ever taken advantage of the Christmas in July sales and mindset?