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As it gets closer and closer to the end of the year, your bank is slowly going to hit 0 or those negative numbers. Many of you are probably getting overwhelmed and anxious during this time of year because there are way too many things to do. Yes, I know because I feel that way too.
It's the time of the year when most people go broke or can't afford to buy presents for people. You want to Christmas shop without breaking your wallet, right?
I know how it feels to see all your money leaving your bank account. We all want to give the best and most meaningful gifts to our loved ones without breaking our bank right? So what can you do to prevent that from happening?
Here I want to share what I do when I was back in college and still do today.
1. Write a List
I'm pretty sure everyone has at least 10 gifts to get every year. Why not write down a list to make our lives easier? There are so many people that we need to get gifts for, and it's difficult to have everything and everyone memorize in our little heads right?
Imagine having all that information in your head. Wouldn't that give you a headache?
Whether it's your phone or a piece of paper, you should write down a list of names and things for each person. By doing this, you can easily check off the names when you get the gift.
A list is SO IMPORTANT when you Christmas shop because it saves you time, money, and gives you less headaches. I know some people who have no list and I always question if they are going to be okay. So please write a list on your phone or paper because it will save you a lot of trouble.
I recommend doing a list early like in October or November so that you can start getting gifts for people. If you do your shopping a little early, you don't have to stress or feel overwhelmed. You don't even have to worry about the line and things being sold out.
2. Set a Budget
Did you know that the average individual spend about $942 on holiday gifts in 2019. That's a lot of money when you ask me. This is why a budget is important. If you do not have a budget, you are most likely going to overspend down the road. you should have one because not many people have one which is why they always overspend and end up being broke. With a list and a budget, this will help you to stick with it and prevent you from overspending.
During Christmas, a lot of people would overspend and pay for so many things and forget the real meaning of Christmas.
When you have a lot of things to pay like bills, mortgage, or other debts, you don't want to kill your wallet and add more debt by overspending for Christmas. You want to be logical about spending your money but also keep the person you are buying for in mind as well.
Sometimes the expensive gift you want to get for someone is OUT OF YOUR BUDGET, and it is understandable because you don't have the money for it. It's okay when that happens. You should make sure you have a budget for each person. If you set a limit for each person, this will save your bank.
3. Handmade Gifts
I don't know about you but I LOVE handmade gifts, and I would say I'm pretty good at making them as well. Why Christmas shop when you can make them yourself? If you don't have enough money, you can always make gifts for people. Handmade gifts to me are so valuable and better than buying gifts because it is an original piece that no one has.
Yes, it does take time and effort, but don't you love the result when you finished making something so valuable because I know I do. You don't have to make anything glamorous or expensive. As long as it comes from the heart and you put in work, the person who you giving it to will ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.
Better yet, you can find amazing things on Etsy to buy. If you don't have the time to make it, Etsy is the way to go.
Don't ever underestimate handmade gifts. It can turn out amazing without you realizing it. With handmade gifts, you can go without breaking your wallet for Christmas and bring people tears of joy. That is some BONUS there don't you think?
4. Shop Early
It's NEVER TOO EARLY to start shopping for Christmas. When you shop early, you don't need to waste a lot of time towards the end of the year. If you take the time to Christmas shop early, you'll be stress-free when it comes to December. I remembered a client I talked to said she finished shopping for Christmas in August or September, and I was just shocked because I never shopped that early for Christmas. She told me that shopping early allows her to save money and gives her less stress. Plus, she was able to shop at ease and manage her money.
I saw that by doing this you could manage your money without breaking your wallet for Christmas. Now, I wouldn't say to shop that early because I don't usually shop until November, but I can see the benefits of shopping early.
If you know you have a lot of events going on the last towards the end of the year, I suggest you plan in advance and shop for everyone in a week or two. If you do this, you can knock it all out on your to-do list and all you have to worry about is wrapping or putting them in gift bags.
Can you imagine finishing shopping at the end of October or mid-November? You don't have to worry about anything else but putting them under the tree. Sounds so good to be true right? However, I know there are people who prefer that way.
The longer you wait the more stress you are going to give yourself. Please try to work with your busy schedule to make it happen if you don't want to run around like crazy towards the end of the year.
5. Use Sales or Coupons to your Advantage
Why not use coupons to your advantage to Christmas shop? I know sales and coupons can be tempting, and you want to buy everything because you consider it “cheap.” This can kill your wallet further if you keep buying things recklessly.
You should already have a list of things you want to give people. If that particular item is on sale or you have a coupon for it then you can buy it. If you want to shop and save like a pro, coupons and sales are the way to go. This can save you extra bucks especially when you don't want to break your wallet for Christmas.
When I was on a budget, I would see if things were on sale or use the coupons to my advantage. This way I'm not going overspending, and I don't have to worry about being broke.
I remembered that if I get some newspapers saying there is a sale or any coupons in the mail, I would save them to see if I need to get someone a gift from the store. If I do, I'll go and get it within a week or two.
Now I wouldn't keep shopping when things were on sale or keep using my coupons, I only use them when I needed a gift for someone. This is how you can use sales or coupons to your advantage without breaking your wallet for Christmas.
6. Work Extra or Start a Side Hustle
If you think you might not have enough money to shop, you can also work extra by asking your boss, getting another job, or starting a side hustle. I know most people are always in a pinch with their money when Christmas starts coming around.
Maybe you want to buy a specific gift for your family, best friend, boyfriend, or cousin and you don't have the money for it. By working extra, getting another job, or starting a side hustle can help pay off for that gift.
When you are in a situation, you want to try your best to solve it correct? You might feel overwhelmed and think it might not be worth it but trust me, you probably want to get that gift and not go broke.
I remembered working extra during Christmas break while in school because I want to have extra money to spend for my family and treat myself for my hard work. Don't forget to treat yourself for your hard work as well.
You want to shop for others and for yourself without breaking your wallet for Christmas.
I hope these tips and tricks help you in getting organized for the holidays. You might be feeling overwhelming but trust me we are all in that situation. However, I believe in you!
Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the next post.