A Collection of Money Tips For The Holidays

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-11-3020

Now that the season is turning and we’re entering into what most will say is the busiest time of the year, I’m finding myself pretty short on time with a whole lot of work ahead at the home front. For the most part, I’ve been doing some Christmas shopping, playing hostess to some international guests for the holidays and also putting together our annual Christmas display — that would include both the outdoor area and the interior of our home. Plus in the coming month, I’m also handling some extra school-related matters for my kids like applications/registrations (new schools may be in the horizon), parent/teacher conferences and end of year projects. All these on top of our normal routine (which includes work, errands, blogging, playdates, last minute physicals to beat the insurance deadline, household financial reviews, etc.) and you see that we’re going more than a little berserk over here.

So I thought for the time being, I’ll do what a few other pf bloggers have done, and that is to highlight some of my posts from the archives, particularly those that cover the subject of the holidays. And with less than a month away from Christmas, I thought to get into the spirit with a few money tips:

holiday cheer bill, money tips

My Holiday Gift Collection of Money Tips

  • Test drive your holiday budget with a make-believe, fantasy shopping spree. It may be a good way to scare yourself out of overspending. A little reverse psychology perhaps? This was the technique I used to keep my wish list in check.
  • You don’t have to buy into the spending pressures of the season. If you’re taking a “No Buy or Buy Little” stance, be proud — especially if you’re trying to get rid of your debt. You don’t have to succumb to the calls of tradition.
  • Avoid falling into an overspending trap by reading up on ways to save money in the midst of retail heaven. Maybe this list of timeless holiday frugal tips can help.
  • Don’t let your guard down especially during times of fun and celebration. We become particularly vulnerable this time of year when we’re distracted by the requisite cheer and inebriation our surroundings impose upon us. Well, reality bites, so we shouldn’t forget what could happen when we’re not careful.
  • Develop a budget for this special time of year. If you’re wondering what the average Christmas gift budget is, check out these eye-opening statistics and find out what the rest of the nation did last year.
  • Develop traditions and memories. This may be a good time to reconnect with others you haven’t seen in a while. In my case, I remind myself that this time of year is for the children in my life.
  • Don’t fall prey to the perils of shopping, buying and gifting. You don’t have to be frustrated when things aren’t up to snuff — try these tips on how to successfully return or exchange your merchandise (and get past the ornery sales clerk)!

Hopefully this’ll help get us ready for the bluster of activity ahead. To me, it’s already all starting to become a big blur!

 
Image Credit: NoveltiesWholesale.com

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

david November 30, 2007 at 1:54 pm

I always celebrate Christmas with no presents (don’t receive or give) =(.

thewild1 December 1, 2007 at 2:19 am

I don’t mind giving… if it is somebody else’s money.

shelly December 5, 2007 at 3:11 am

been placing a few price drop trackers on stuff for xmas… using the priceAmbush.com web service
–shelly

Jessica Bennet December 16, 2007 at 9:42 am

Hi,

I agree with you in the sense that one should stay away from overspending during the festive season. Reality does bite and then it becomes hard to get out of debt traps.

I find so many people getting into too much of shopping and gifting and then right at the beginning of the New Year, they’re afraid of collections…and then there’s no way out but to struggle somehow to get out of the mess. So, it’s important that one saves a certain amount of money each month right from the beginning of the year.

One can avoid getting into a financial mess if he follows some simple budgeting tips to stay frugal during this season. I’ve shared some tips for a stress-free Christmas at mortgagefit.com/budgeting/51tips-christmas.html.

Hope you’ll find them interesting.

Merry Christmas in advance!

Eric November 16, 2009 at 1:42 am

Hey SVB!

My best holiday budgeting tip is simply to make a list and STICK with it. Too many times I have bought on impulse because I didn’t pre-plan. Another one a lot of my friends use is to stick with cash. Take out all of the money you have budgeted for gifts in cash and once it runs out..that’s it! No more overspending and it keeps you and your wallet in check.

Michael November 16, 2009 at 7:29 am

We (my wife and I) are using a Google Docs spreadsheet to plan what presents we will buy. We have one tab for each person, and we are putting gift ideas on the person’s tab. Over thanksgiving we will decide which presents each person is getting, and order them.

For anything that is a likely Black Friday / Cyber Monday deal, we will wait until the sales are announced so we don’t miss a deal.

The list is supposed to help us avoid impulse buys this year, and balance how much we spend on people.

Suzanne November 16, 2009 at 8:28 am

Every year I join a savings club specifically for Christmas at my local credit union. I put $80 each month into that account as we have a rather large, close family. My check is issued each October so I am able to start my shopping early. I also do look throughout the year for any special items that might not be available at Christmas time and which would suit an individual in my gift list.

Matt November 16, 2009 at 9:27 am

The easiest way for me to manage holiday shopping is with a simple spreadsheet. Lately, I’ve set it up on Google Docs so my fiance and I can collaborate. We just list out all of the people that we want to shop for, the types of things that they may want, and then the items that we have purchased with cost, location, and date. These are then summed and we have totals. I use color coding to show when I am low, getting close, and over. Simple, yet effective :)

Laura November 16, 2009 at 10:47 am

Another Tip: Buy presents throughout the year as I find them… helps the budget and the stress level!

Kelly November 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm

My money saving plan for this Christmas is to cut back on the number of people that I give gifts to. I have also categorized the recipients and put a max dollar amount next to each category (e.g. Family = $50 per person, Friends = $30 per person, Others = $20) per person. I keep an envelope with cash, my list with my $ limits, names and potential gift ideas in my purse and if I find myself in a store I can pull out the list.

If it gets near Christmas and I haven’t found a good gift, I will get an appropriate gift card and put it in with their Christmas card. I read on another forum — I forget which one — that you can purchase discount gift cards at Sam’s or Costco. I will definitely be checking that out!

Also, a lot of stores around here offer a discount if you purchase 6 bottles of wine. I take advantage of that so I will have a some on hand to bring as a gift if I’m invited to a party, or if I’m caught in a situation where I need a last minute gift.

Jimmyj November 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Make a list of everyone that you want to give a gift to. Prioritize that list and put a dollar amount next to each person. Add those numbers up and that is your Christmas gift giving budget. Don’t go over it.

Adam November 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm

My tip is that I use an ING subaccount to slowly save up throughout the year for gifts. Each January I set a dollar amount for each person on my lists for Christmas, birthdays and other holidays. I then pad an extra 25% into it because I always forget someone or some event. Anything left in the account at the end of the year is rolled over into the new year and I make up the difference with a monthly deposit (automatic transfer).

Mysterious Stranger November 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Saving money during the holidays – like the rest of the year – isn’t hard if you just plan ahead. I started keeping a spreadsheet for the Christmas gifts that I buy for everyone. I fill it out as I think of things throughout the year, and sometimes I insert links to merchant websites and/or prices. I don’t buy anything until my list is complete, and I know what I’m spending.

Troy Carls November 21, 2009 at 10:33 pm

What do I say about managing your money during this holiday season? First of all, plan ahead! Start planning for NEXT Christmas now, start putting money aside for next Christmas NOW! Secondly, use a spreadsheet to track all your gift purchases, making sure you are keeping under budget. Plan for how much dollars is going to everyone that you are buying gifts for and make that total to be a bit lower than the money that you saved, because everyone knows that sometimes you go over on a gift here or there. This way you won’t go over your total budget.

And finally, look for the best deals!

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