Last Christmas, I went all out for Saia-especially when it came to toys. Over time I realized that out of all the toys I bought she only played with 3 or 4 consistently and I wasted my money. Majority of the toys ended up in the basement until recently, when her cousin came over for a playdate. I created a play space for them to have fun and live their best toddler life. Since that day, Saia has been into all the toys and using her imagination to the fullest. If I would have taken the age suggestion into consideration, all of these toys would have been great for this Christmas coming up. Trust I learned from my mistakes and know how I will save and spend smart each and every holiday season.
1. Start Early!
I love to do my shopping after Christmas because you can really find good sales for just about anyone in your family. Especially, on decorations and gift wrapping paper. I know Black Friday and Cyber Monday just passed, but you can really catch some good sales on clothes and electronics. But if your pockets are hit, try to keep track of sales throughout the year and rack up when you can, so when the holiday season approaches you will be done and stress-free. A lot of my girlfriends do this and they are just about done with there Christmas list. Unfortunately, I will be dealing with the crowds this year but I’m definitely to start early next year!
2. Make a Budget and Create a Christmas Savings Account
So I’ll admit it when it comes to money I’m far from frugal. A budget is foreign to me unless it’s just absolutely necessary. However, after Christmas last year I decided to create a budget of $1500 and divided it by 12, so I could make a monthly payment into my Christmas savings account. It’s important that you create a realistic budget and make sure you are comfortable with the monthly payment so you can stay on track! I have one more payment and then next week my Christmas shopping begins, and I can’t wait.
3. Make a list and check it TWICE!
Create a Christmas list so you can stay focused when you get into the store. If you don’t have a list, you will more than likely get sidetracked and pick up more items than you need- remember the goal is to stay within the budget. Now that everyone is older, they really don’t need much. That’s why I decided to focus on the kids in my family since it’s all about them anyway. This year I plan to get educational gifts like books, puzzles, and games that will stimulate their mind. Thank God I don’t have to think about clothes or shoes because the grandparents always hold it down.
4. Try Secret Santa
The adults in my family just want to be around each other and fellowship, so we decided to start doing Secret Santa. Each year we make a list of five things that we want and put it in the family group chat. Then we put our names in the online Secret Santa generator and make our selection from there, which is a major lifesaver. Whether you have a small or big family, Secret Santa just makes things a lot easier for everyone.
5. Price Match
Mommies, when I tell ya’ll that I saved so much money price matching last year, it was unbelievable. Although it requires you to do some research to find who has the cheapest price, it is so worth the hassle. However, there is always a catch- so make sure that you research every store’s price matching guidelines, so your feelings aren’t hurt when you get there.
Most importantly, remember the reason for the season! It’s not about money and how many gifts you have under the tree. In fact, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show your loved ones your appreciation. Focus on spending quality time making memories and new traditions with your friends and family!
Tis the season to share, feel free to comment and tell us how you save during the holiday season!