Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Plan Now For The Holidays

To start saving some money, go to www.thesimpledollar.com for some hot tips. Save money and shipping by doing your shopping online. It is easier than to be tempted by everything in the store.
1. Create a schedule. Clean your home. Shed some of the household things you have taking up space now that are broken or out-of-date. This will make the time after the holidays more bearable by not having to put away the decorations AND clean house.
2. Set your budget now! You have 8 weeks till Christmas. Can you save $100/week and set your budget for $800? Save a portion of whatever you are comfortable with every week. This plan should cover everything, entertaining, gifts and that new clothing item for yourself.
3. Allocate your budget. If you do not have the money to do everything, pick and choose. I had to face that reality. Gifts or a trip for myself. Hmmmm.....
4. Make your lists. Plan your meals now. Grocery stores are trying to get you in the door during Thanksgiving. They have many loss leaders. If you have it on your list, you can buy it on sale. Use coupons and store specials. Stock up on staples.
5. Plan a new kind of party...
A. Bring Your Own... Like have an appetizer party and have each guest bring their favorite appetizer. (This will cut down on your work as well as your expenditures.)
B. Have brunch; this is typically less costly than a dinner. This busy time of year, people will be less likely to have conflicts also.
C. Stick to one drink. Do not carry a whole bar. Have a themed drink, perhaps a Sangria.
6. Try a different kind of gift.
A. Subscription to the zoo or museum.
B. Whole family gift; a gift certificate to a pizza place.
C. Invite your friends to a brunch and get a small and inexpensive memento for them to remember the occasion by. After all, the most important aspect of a gift is sharing yourself and time together.
D. Office goodies. Bake cookies or bring a vegie tray. Decorate it with a card and let everyone know this is your gift. Go to Subway and get the $5. sandwiches. Cut them into smaller sandwiches. Add chips and soft drinks. It will be a hit!
E. Experiences; Kids generally get enough toys. Make a gift card for an overnight camping trip or give them an introductory course in ballet or karate.
F. Try a gift rotation. Do not buy for everyone, but give to one person, one year a sister-in-law, next to a cousin.
G. Bath products and household knickknacks are generally low on the list of gift items wanted. Steer clear!

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