Resolve to start buying gifts in January.
The chaos has died down, the tree has gone on the fire and the house is decluttered. Feels good doesn’t it that for another 300 or so days our lives will resume to normality? Then the crunch comes again and our budgets go to pot. I remember one year Hubs ran out the day before my birthday to quick grab my gift and card. As I’m a gift giver I’m not a procrastinator on those things, I was shocked. Not as much as when he told me his reasoning,
“I just haven’t had time until now.”
Guess my response?
“You’ve had 364 days!”
That’s the thing, come rain or shine unless your birthday was on February 29 in a Leap Year, your birthday will always be the same day and Christmas will always be December 25. That’s the nice thing about it. It’s plannable and doable on a budget but crazy as it sounds, you’re going to have to start thinking about it now. Woooooooooh baby, before you start thinking I’ve gone into my crazy shopaholic mode where I want to spend every day at the store (yes, sometimes in winter that happens folks!!!), hear me out. Here’s two FAB reasons you should buy a little over the course of the next year:
The main reason I blog, you read and life goes on! By spending a little here and a little there when November rolls around you won’t be plopping down on all your wage and then freaking out in January as you struggle to pay it off.
2) You can buy on sale and give more/spend less.
There are two ways to look at this. Take my friend’s little boy for instance. In July I bought him his Christmas present. Little crazy you may think but the Caterpillar remote controlled toy pictured above was in Kmart’s clearance for only $9. Normally I’d spend around $15 on him but as the truck was valued at $20, I didn’t see the need. He got an awesome toy that he loved that normally we wouldn’t have got him and I saved $6. Win-win.
However when it comes to our siblings we have a budget we stick to. This year I found something for my sister in law that wasn’t as much as we’d normally spend on her so I went and bought something else to add to it. Now, granted, the item was worth more than I spent and most of the time I’d take the “worth” price over the “paid” price any day. But with close family if they want to return it and realize you only spent say $5 instead of $20, it’s a little embarrassing. Hey, it’s a judgment call! Trust me I usually go on worth price which is why this year my Mum received a bunch of glade candles (free), socks (free from Hallmark after coupon), $1 big Bath and Body Works lotions and Fanny May cocoa (free after coupon).
I’m fairly creative with giving and regularly use Free after rebate items from Menards. Men love tools. I love Free. What I’ve found is that men love free tools!!!!
Tips for Shipping The Sales.
- Don’t buy at 50% unless you really need it. Wait until items get to 75% or even 90% off. Sure the pickings won’t be as great but the price difference is huge.
- Keep a gift box and add to it throughout the year. The other thing it does is easily gift host gifts that don’t cost a lot. I keep my eye on seasonal clearance and grab things like cocoa and candy that I can take to someone’s house. Just watch expiration dates.
- Be prepared to rustle through stuff. The best bargains are usually well hidden.
- Remember, start early and you won’t have to spend a lot. This year I proved that. Christmas cost us waaaay less than normal!