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Christmas was just a month ago, so the last thing on your mind now may be next Christmas. However, there are several reasons why now is the best time to prepare for next Christmas, especially if you’d like to have a frugal Christmas. Here are some things you can begin doing to have a low cost, low stress Christmas eleven months from now.
Evaluate This Past Christmas
While this past Christmas is still fresh in your mind, take the time to evaluate it. Did you feel that you bought the right amount of gifts? Too much? Too little?
Are there some people you feel you no longer need to buy gifts for? Are there new people you need to buy gifts for?
How were your holiday decorations? Are your Christmas lights on the fritz? Do you need to replace your Christmas tree next Christmas?
Take the time to write down this information so you’re prepared come November. If you want to be super organized, consider using a special holiday planner, which is a great way to keep all of this information in one place.
Start Saving Now
As my kids get older, Christmas seems to get more and more expensive. To help ease the financial burden in December, start slowly saving now. If you spent $800 this past Christmas and you expect to spend the same this year, divide that amount by 10 months (so you’ll have the money by the end of November), and you’ll come up with approximately $80. Start saving that amount every month, so you’ll have the full amount when you’re ready to do your Christmas shopping.
Remember, though, December is expensive for a variety of reasons. Sure, you have to set aside money for gifts, but will you be traveling, or hosting any parties? Include all of those items into your savings plan also.
Start Crafting Now
If you are planning on making anything homemade, don’t wait until the last minute; get started now. One year I cross-stitched my mom a large Santa Claus carrying gifts and framed it.
This year, I plan on making my daughter this fold and go organizer. For my other daughter, I’ll likely make an outfit for her American Girl dolls.
I am also going to make some real vanilla for baking, and that takes several months of resting time before it acquires a strong enough flavor.
Start Earning Swagbucks Now
Some people earn enough Swagbucks to earn a $25 gift card every month. I don’t have that much time to spend on Swagbucks, but I do tend to earn $25 to $50 on gift cards. To maximize your earnings, start now.
There are plenty of ways to have a frugal, enjoyable gift giving holiday, but most of the strategies require that you plan ahead, often months in advance. That is why now is the best time to prepare for next Christmas.
When do you begin to prepare for Christmas? What additional items would you add to this list?