48 Weeks Till Christmas

Can you believe that Christmas is in 48 weeks? I know that it’s a little weird to think about Christmas when we just finished putting our decorations away. Let’s look at it from a financial point of view. We all, single and married, know that Christmas can sometimes be a struggle financially. What better time to get on top of the holiday than right now.

If you’re still a little hesitant, let me throw you some pro’s that may persuade you; no stress level financially, enjoying some quality family time, no debt, focus on the real reason for the season (Jesus Christ Himself), etc.

I want to throw a disclaimer out. I am single and have fewer bills than a family of 6, but everyone can learn something. My income also hinders me financially, so this past year I tried something NEW. I wanted to let you all in on the secrets to help you this coming year.

Budget and Shop RIGHT NOW!

I know that some people love Black Friday shopping. That is not me. I am not a big fan of shopping, but I do love snagging a great deal.

Who are you buying Christmas gifts for? You could be single, like me, and have gifts to buy for a few people. You may be married with children and a few grandchildren to purchase gifts for. Whatever it is, you need to figure out who you plan on buying Christmas gifts for this year. Make a list, write it down and put it on your desk.

What is your budget? This is when it gets fun for me. I enjoy budgeting. When I budget right, it gives me more open doors to travel or buy something that I have wanted to buy for a while. The next thing is to figure out what you plan on spending for each person. On the same list of names that you wrote down, write down a price range of what you would like to spend for each of them. Remember, meaning matters more than money.

If you still are a fan of waiting until Black Friday, then budget and save.

The process of saving. There are many ways to save money, from change jars all the way to the envelop system by Dave Ramsey. You should have your names and budget list in front of you. What is the total budget from your list? Whatever you do, don’t stress. You are 48 weeks away from Christmas! You have time to figure it out. Below are some tips to help you out on preparing for Christmas 2019.

Set aside some money. For example; if my budget is $300 then I need to set aside $25 a month or $6.25 a week. When Christmas comes in 48 weeks, you don’t need to stress. You already have it saved up. Just go shopping!

Shopping now is a great idea. I had a lot of gifts purchased before Thanksgiving. I can tell you stress was not something that was apart of this past Christmas. My parents and Si’s gifts were the only gifts that I needed to buy.

Take advantage of the parties. During the summer I went to a Tupperware party. The anniversary sale was happening. The children’s tea party set was a cute color, plus its lifetime warranty. It was more than what I would have paid during the Christmas season for a gift. With it being summer, I knew that I could recover in the next week. Boom! I had my niece’s gifts bought for Christmas 6 months in advance.

Thrifting It. I don’t know if any of you are thrift store shoppers, but I love thrift store shopping. When I was shopping, I found a “Melissa and Doug” mailbox at a thrift store with all the pieces still in it. I purchased that for Calloway’s Christmas gifts. Buying gifts before the holiday season when you see them at a great price is the time to buy them.

Name exchange. One thing that has also helped the Patterson sisters for Christmas, is a name exchange. This way, we don’t need to buy gifts for each sister on top of our parents, nieces, and nephew. Each year we have a different sister. This past year, I had Olivia. I already knew what I wanted to get her, so I just needed to purchase the necklace. I just got a few other small things for her too.

Be Creative. It takes some time to figure out what works for your family. Growing up our parents never spent over $100 on us. Mom was great with making Christmas a blast. One year all of our gifts were in one large box. The box was either hidden inside, outside in our yard, or the neighbor’s yard. Running around and searching for the gifts, that was the best part. Another year, dad and mom wrapped the gifts and placed colored bows on the Christmas gifts. All five of us had a color bow with about five gifts. Presents were hidden throughout the entire house. Some were in the dryer another was in the tub. I don’t remember what I got that year but I do have memories of us girls running around the house looking for our Christmas presents and not telling someone if we saw one of theirs.

Here is a thought for you minimalists. If you are a minimalist and don’t like clutter, but you feel bad for your kids to open one gift on Christmas day. Visit Dollar Tree and buy some toys that they can open on Christmas day. All you have to do is throw them out when they break or when pieces go missing, but buy them that one thing they want that will last.

I hope that you are able to use something from this post to make your Christmas season for 2019 more enjoyable. Planning now is far more beneficial to you than it would be waiting till the December rolls around.

I challenge you to take a few minutes and start some lists. Have a great day Y’all.

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