I’m a procrastinator at heart. And although I LOVE to save money on everything, thinking ahead to the holidays just doesn’t come naturally to me.
There’s no denying that there’s lots to do to get ready for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, with everything else that we juggle everyday, some of us (myself included!) just put it off until later.
So, here is a short list of tips to help get you moving toward having a smooth and comparatively relaxing holiday season!
1. Set Your Holiday Budget
If you haven’t already, decide on your holiday budget. This is the time of year that it really helps to have a budget in place. And don’t worry if you think your budget is not big enough.
Since you’re planning now, you have a few months to plan how you can scale back on some expenses to save money.
2. Create An Action Plan with Deadlines
Now that your have your holiday budget in hand, start making your holiday to-do list (some of suggestions included below) to help you stay within your budget.
Once you’ve completed your action plan, list a deadline for each task. You can list these deadlines on your household calendar to keep you on top of preparation tasks.
3. Start Buying Presents Now
For most, the holiday season is a time of giving, and this usually comes in the form of presents. Don’t waste any time – if you’re going to get presents for family and friends, start buying them right now! If you’re short on ideas, then ask your kids, friends, and family for some suggestions.
The key is not to wait until the last minute to buy presents. This will save your sanity from all the stressful and unnecessary rush. And it will help ensure you can get the gifts you really want for your friends and family.
4. Write Your Holiday Cards
If you like sending cards out to your friends and family during the holiday season, don’t wait until the week before Christmas before getting them ready.
As soon as you see cards in the stores, buy some that you like and start writing them out. You can have them all signed and ready to go well before send-out time, leaving you with less on your mind as the holidays get closer.
5. Stock Up On Ingredients
If you like making special treats for the holidays such as cookies and cakes, then purchase the ingredients you need now. As the holidays approach, the ingredients you want are going to be more in demand and may not be as easy to find in the grocery store.
Also, see what baked goods can be made ahead of time. For instance, if you’re making holiday cookies, you can make the cookie dough ahead of time.