As summer ends and fall makes its appearance, thoughts of Christmas probably haven’t crossed your mind just yet. After all, it’s months away, which means you have plenty of time to plan and prepare, right? Like it or not, the holidays have a tendency to sneak up on us and as the busyness of fall ensues, you may be shopping for your Christmas tree sooner than you think.
While you might be thinking that it’s simply too early to start holiday preparations, getting a head start only serves to benefit you in the long-run. Here are four ways preparing early for Christmas can leave you smooth-sailing through the holiday season:
Start Saving Early
While a joyous time of year, the holiday season is also an expensive time. Between decor, food, travel, and array of gifts, there’s shortage of items to purchase. Unfortunately, given the expense of Christmas, many people are forced to resort to using their credit cards only to rack up extra debt.
Instead of having to deal with debt come the new year, start preparing now so you make those purchases with cash. Begin by putting a little away here and there and once the holidays come you’ll have enough for all holiday expenses.
Keep Control of Impulse Spending
The holidays are a magical time of year, and it’s all too easy to get swept up in the Christmas cheer. Although in many ways this is no doubt a good thing, when it comes to spending, it could have you buying more than you should. If you’re stressed, you may find yourself spending to cope.
If you’ve left purchases like gifts or travel arrangements to the last minute, your lack of time gives you less time to shop around for the best prices or could have you impulse buying the first (and probably more expensive) item you find. By preparing a few months ahead, you’ll have plenty of time to shop around, make well-educated purchases, and plan everything out to eliminate any holiday-induced stress or spending.
Give Yourself Time for Homemade
Christmas gifts come at a cost and aren’t always easy to buy, after all, finding the perfect gift can be difficult to find. Going the homemade route is not only a great budgetary option, but can also give you the opportunity to give a truly unique gift.
More often than not, however, the time you give yourself to plan for Christmas is hardly enough to buy gifts let alone make them yourself. Preparing now gives you ample time to start homemade gifts or possibly even learn a new skill to do so before the holiday rush.
Prep & Cook Early to Save Stress
The holidays are full of goodies, treats, and significant time spent in the kitchen. Even if you enjoy cooking, all the holiday prep can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful. In large part, the ingredients alone for many meals and treats can cost a fortune. Save on cost and time by buying a few choice ingredients ahead of time and in bulk, think flour, sugar, sprinkles, etc.
Moreover, to eliminate stress and save money on takeout, use the months before December to make and freeze large batches of recipes. Then, when you’re crunched for time with various other holiday plans and preparations, you can grab an easy and inexpensive dinner on the fly.
The holiday season is supposed to be a joyous and magical time of the year. Unfortunately, more often than not, the season of giving is filled with chaos, stress, too many debt-inducing expenses. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy the holidays again. By beginning preparations now, you’ll eliminate stress and cost and put the joy back in your Christmas season.
What are some ways you could start saving money for the holidays? How do you find the best prices for gifts?