Make a List
Alright I confess … I come from a long line of list-makers. My father was a list maker, my sisters are list makers. And I knew I had passed this trait along when I saw a list made by my then-six-year-old son of the games he wanted to play with his friend on the weekend. This included a schedule and a checkbox to mark when completed (ok, that part had me a little worried).
Even Santa Claus is known for his lists, so you should DEFINITELY be making lists for:
- Supplies (if you are hosting any Christmas season events)
- Holiday stuff (if you’re lucky enough to be getting away on holidays).
Look for Discounts
When I say “look”, I don’t mean “hope”. You have to FIND them. Check all the shopping catalogues (maybe while you’re watching TV?). And keep in mind that a many stores will match or beat competitors prices, so do your homework. You won’t be sorry.
So many things are WAAAAAAYYYY cheaper online than in the stores. Plus there is the added benefit of not actually being in the stores where you will be tempted to buy more. I do the vast majority of my Christmas shopping online.
Word of advice-Be sure to check the price of shipping before you make your final decisions, as that can really add up. Many stores will offer free shipping to get your business, so just be vigilant about that.
Use your Reward Points
If you’ve been collecting points with your grocery shopping, now is a great time to cash these in. You’ll get some excellent discounts. Check your balance so you know how much you have available and then use them!
Follow some of your favourite brands on social media as they sometimes offer exclusive discounts. You’ll be surprised the difference it will make.
Set a present limit
This is particularly important if you have an enormous extended family as things can easily spiral out of control. Alternatively you can do a “Gift Draw” … where each adult in the family draws a name out of a hat, and instead of buying for everyone, you just buy one REALLY GOOD gift for that one person.
Shop like a man
I mean get in – get it done – and get out. I needn’t elaborate.
Track your spending
Keep a small notebook and note down what you’ve spent so you won’t accidentally go over budget.
Give something that costs you nothing. This time of year the blood bank really needs donors, so if you’re in good health consider giving blood. It’s also a good time to donate clothes and groceries to local charities. If you have younger children, this can be a good time to get them to go through their belongings and give away any toys they no longer use (which are in good condition). Another LOVELY altruistic thing to do with younger children is to get them involved in Operation Christmas Child. They pack a shoe box with some simple things and experience the real pleasure of giving.
Sell something you aren’t using to bolster your finances. Now is a great time to do this as people are starting to look for bargains online. Gumtree or Ebay (or Cash Converters) can turn your unwanted items into much-needed cash for Christmas.
Ask others to contribute to Christmas lunch. Believe it or not you DON’T have to do absolutely everything. Drinks and snacks are easy for others to bring and will save you a lot of money.
Plan for next year
Think about saving $20 a week from the first week in January. You can set up a (free) account and do a direct debit out of your pay so you don’t even have to remember. You’ll be so glad you did this because you’ll have $1000 next year without even trying.