My husband and I decided years ago that in order to ease our spending budget at Christmas time, we would buy most of the gifts year round. The first thing we do early in the year is decide on an amount to spend on each family member/friend. We collect wish lists, and then check the retail price for each requested gift. When that is done, we total all the gifts amount so we can evaluate if the total matches the budget originally decided, and if not, we adjust.
Throughout the year, we watch for sales and purchase the gifts on the list at their lowest retail prices. This method enables us to save money on most of the items and then apply the money saved toward last minute unexpected gifts that need to be purchased.
This will work if the list is kept handy and reviewed regularly; it is similar to setting goals, we keep it fresh in our mind by reviewing regularly what is on the list, thinking about the strategy to achieve the goal and working at it.
We found that if we have a list, it is less likely that we will succumb to impulse buying when visits to the stores are made during the Christmas holiday. In order for this plan to work, we have to stick to the list like glue, review it and adjust so we always know how the budget is doing as purchases are made.
We prefer a non-stressful Christmas, and with the shopping out of the way early, we are more available to help others during the holiday season.
LDS Intelligent Living
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