Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Monday, September 17, 2018

Think Ahead: Start Saving for the Holidays Now

As soon as the weather starts to get a little cooler, our minds automatically begin to drift to the holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course, Christmas are right around the corner. In fact, they’ll be here before we even know it. Despite the months between now and the end of December, it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays. Why?

We all know that the holidays can get really expensive, really fast. And when you want to be that grandparent--you know, the one that spoils the grandkids silly every chance you get--well, it’s important to deliver on Christmas. One of the best ways to counteract the strain of Christmas costs, is to plan ahead.

Plan out your holiday gifts

It’s really easy to get caught up in the magic of the holiday season, and end up going waaaay over your holiday gift budget. Black friday and all of the holiday sales draw you in, enticing you with promises of sales and savings. 

This doesn’t mean that sales aren’t bad. In fact, it’s the opposite. However, you can’t let yourself get caught up in all of the sales. 

The best way to counteract that, is to plan out your holiday gifts ahead of time, before you even go shopping. 

This doesn’t have to mean planning out each individual gift, although it can if that’s what works best for you. 

Instead, you can plan out categories. You know you’ll get your daughter a doll, 2 items of clothing, a new game, and a book. Then, when you get to the store, only get those things you already decided you’d get.

Quality over quantity

One of the biggest frustrations as a parent is to see your child discard and ignore their Christmas gifts just a few short days after receiving them. The excitement of the holiday makes them excited for their gifts, but it often doesn’t take too long for these new toys to be forgotten. 

It’s frustrating to see the dozens of toys you got them, and spent money on, collecting dust and going unused. One of the best ways to fix this problem, is to be more mindful of the gifts you get your children and to get them less gifts. Instead of 5 small toys, get them 1 item they’ve really been wanting. 

Especially if this is something they are passionate about, and they can use for years to come. 

It may be more expensive, but it’s something that will last a lot longer, bring them joy years to come, and ensure that your money isn’t being wasted. 

Go ahead and buy your child that drum set, the recording equipment, or the expensive art set.

Buy now, gift later

One of the reasons that the holiday season can be so financially crippling, is because all of the extra expenses that go with the holiday all happen at the exact same time. Some of this is simply unavoidable. But if there’s an area where you can redistribute the financial burden, you should. 

One of the best, and safest, ways to do this, is by buying presents early. Before prices inflate for the holidays, head out and grab a few of the gifts you know you’re planning on giving. You can save them away in a high shelf in your closet and wait for the snow and holiday season to arrive before gifting. 

If you have children, a pretty good idea is to plan to buy one or two gifts every time you have to make the trip to the store. This will equate to an extra $20-$50 per trip, rather than having to spend hundreds of dollars on one trip, on the same paycheck. 

By spreading out your gift buying for a few months before the holidays even start, you’ll be saving lots of money, beating the holiday shopping crowds, and keep yourself from getting too stressed out in the new year.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Festive Saving Tips for a Thrifty Christmas

christmas 2007
christmas 2012 (Photo credit: paparutzi)
Christmas can be an expensive time, and with the shops full of tempting displays and pretty lights, it's easy to blow your budget and find you've spent more than you intended. Read on for 5 tips to make sure you're not in the red come Boxing Day.

1. Budget.

Think about what you can realistically afford to spend on Christmas and stick to it. List everything you need to budget for. Food and presents are obvious, but don't forget your Christmas tree, or added extras such as a day out at a Christmas market.

2. Plan your gifts.

Plan who you need to buy for and what you're going to buy. Instead of rushing out to the shops, spend time researching online to compare prices. Shopping online means you'll make fewer impulse purchases, but remember to factor in postage costs. Once you have started your shopping, keep a list of what you've bought and how much it cost. It's easy to forget how much you've spent if you don't keep a running total.

3. Make use of cash back and loyalty schemes.

There are plenty of free websites that offer you cash back on your purchases, and now is the time to make use of them. If you have a store loyalty card then this might be a good time to spend your points, especially with some stores offering good deals when you exchange your points for vouchers.

4.Have a clear out.

You'll need to make some space for new presents, so spend time having a clear out and put your unwanted things for sale on eBay. A little time and effort could bring in some extra cash.

5. Ditch the cards.

It's lovely to get Christmas cards, but rising postage costs have made it expensive to send them. Most people would appreciate a heartfelt and personal Christmas message sent by e-mail just as much as a card through the post.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Planning for Top Quality Christmas Parties on a Budget

christmas 2007
christmas 2012 (Photo credit: paparutzi)
We’re getting to that time of year when people are starting to think about their Christmas parties, what they’re going to wear, where they’re going, how much they can afford to spend and what the theme is going to be. Unfortunately, these traditional parties occur at a bad time of year – there’s enough expense around Christmas time as it is, but you just can’t miss out on “the party of the year” whether you’re a student, a mother of two or retired. 

The main problem for the person entrusted with the task of arranging the whole thing is usually a financial one. The company might set aside a budget for them to spend on the venue, entertainment, food and drink and whatever else they might need, but the planner also needs to consider the needs and financial restrictions of the guests – there’s no point blowing the budget on an expensive restaurant if people can’t afford the food for instance. 

Fancy dress parties are always good for a laugh, but the chances are that the majority of people attending will have to go out and hire a costume. With it being peak time for the fancy dress hire companies, they can charge what they like safe in the knowledge that the customers will still pay for what’s on offer, so if they have to buy a costume, ensuring that costs at the party are low is essential to prevent people spending hundreds on the night itself when you include food and drink. 

A smart casual theme is quite possibly the best as it allows people to “play dress up” and get glammed up, especially if there’s a relaxed dress code in the workplace. The ladies can go out shopping for new party dresses and the men can don the shirt and tie they bought with their Charles Tyrwhitt promo codes but never had a use for and pretend they’re James Bond for the evening! 

Whatever theme you go for as the organizer, you need to remember that the financial restraints aren't just around the party budget, but the guests as well. With Christmas presents to buy, the “big night out” with the team from the office could be something they'd choose to avoid if they have to pay a lot so a cheap and cheerful party could be the ideal option. Keep venue costs low and food and drink free and you'll be the best party organizer ever!

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