Christmas is exactly six months away and Hanukkah is a few weeks sooner than that (Dec. 11), which means…groan…it’s a fabulous time to start saving for the winter holidays. Here are five ways to prepare. I hope one of them works for you!
1. Decide how much you want to have to spend on gifts and divide that total by six months. Set up a special savings account with an automatic deposit each month. Don’t leave it up to chance. If your budget is $500, save $83.33 each month.
2. Look at your budget and see how much you can afford to put towards gifts each month or week. That becomes your holiday budget.
3. Start setting aside gifts you come by now. This is similar to No. 1 but instead of socking away cash you are socking away gifts. I like to keep a box of gifts in my closet that I add to periodically. I currently have a beautiful red sushi plate that I’m going to give to my neighbor, a few small toys for my nieces and nephews, and a handful of cookbooks. Some people swear by shopping for Christmas/Hanukkah year round.
4. Reader Lenita gave me a new way of saving for Christmas when she left this comment a few days ago. “When I come home from each grocery-shopping trip, I check the sales slip to see how much I’ve saved by using coupons. I then put that amount in an envelope to be saved for Christmas shopping. More than $100.00 per month is easily accumulated.” Great idea, Lenita!
5. Hope for a windfall that will cover the gifts you want to buy.