Financially Fabulous – Time to Start Thinking about Christmas!
Read the entire Financially Fabulous series here.
If you have been following me, you know that each month we are focusing on one area to become Financially Fabulous. In July, it is time to start thinking about Christmas.
I know that it is only July and even though the heat rises to 100 degrees almost everyday, we still need to think about Christmas. Christmas is really only 6 months away and if you really want to enjoy a debt free Christmas, you need to plan now.
Here are 4 easy steps to prepare for a Financially Fabulous Christmas:
1. Pick a Budget.
It may be too early to pick a budget for each individual person you are going to buy for, but you can probably pick an overall budget right now. That way you have enough in the bank account to pay cash when the shopping season starts. Take a look at your bank account from last year… if you weren’t budgeting, you just might be surprised how much you really spent.
2. Shop now.
Did you know that July is one of the best time to buy toys? Online and in stores, you will often find toys on clearance (check Walmart and Target). You probably already have an idea of what your kids, nieces, and nephews will enjoy so stock up at lower prices. I get some great stocking stuffers at this time right now. I just bought some fun marker stamps for my daughter this weekend. They were marked down to $1 (normally $5). The savings really do add up. Plus with back to school deals popping up everywhere you can make some great gift baskets for teachers with those goodies!
The trick to shopping ahead is to pick a place to store them. If you are going to store them in the attic or in a closet, I suggest you buy a plastic bin to put them all in. You don’t want to be finding Christmas presents that you bought this year 3 years later only because you forgot where you hid them.
3. Start Earning Money and Rewards online.
You have heard me say it over and over, but taking surveys and searching through Swagbucks really does add up. We paid for half of our Christmas last year in gift cards that I earned for FREE! Now is the time to start earning through those survey sites, so you have enough time to earn the gift cards.
Here are a few of my favorites right now:
- Swagbucks – my all time favorite. It is really easy … you just search to win.
- My Survey – this is a nice survey site – You can redeem your points for cash or prizes.
- Inbox Dollars – this is a great survey site and right now you get $5 instantly just by signing up here.
- Recyclebank – not only can you earn some fabulous coupons just by learning how to recycle, you can also get gift cards and free magazines.
There are more great legitimate money making opportunities to help pay for Christmas while watching TV, but these are just a few that you should check out.
4. Start Saving.
Now that you have a budget, you are shopping the sales, and you are starting to earn some extra cash, you really need to start saving money. I don’t care if it is in an envelope tucked away in your closet, you really need to save money.
Just take the amount that you want to spend on Christmas, and divide that by 6. That will give your new “bill” so you can pay yourself that money each month for Christmas.
Of course, you don’t have to do any of this, but if you want to live Financially fabulous and you want to actually enjoy your Christmas this year…. you need to plan and get prepared.
How do you prepare for Christmas? Leave a comment with your suggestions… I would love to hear them!