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We’re several days into the month of August, which is a great time to talk about Christmas.
Why? Because Christmas is still a few months away, and you can start preparing for it now! Too many people wait until December to buy gifts. With no money saved, they turn to credit cards in a panic and pay for Christmas until April. Not the best approach.
It’s much easier to get ready for the yuletide season little by little. You just need to know where to start. Here are five ways you can get a jump on Christmas—in August.
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1. Save a Monthly Amount
Determine the total you want to spend on Christmas gifts and divide it by four (the number of months left until Christmas). For example, if your budget is $1,000, then save $250 a month for four months. Not only do you enter December with your money ready, but you also have a few weeks to enjoy shopping.
2. Look for Deals Now
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you see a bargain this month and you can just snatch it up? That’s what happens when you keep an eye out for possible gifts in August—you can save some serious cash. Laptops, camping gear, luggage, towels and more are on sale in August. Keep your eyes peeled for those deals!
3. Use Your “Under Budget” Cash
When you come in under budget on monthly expenses like groceries or clothing, take the difference and stash it away in your Christmas fund. That $20 here or $50 there adds up in a flash, and it gives you one more reason to look for bargains in your budget.
4. Have a DIY Christmas
Hop onto Pinterest or Instagram to get some ideas for crafts that you can give as Christmas gifts. Searching for them now gives you plenty of time to buy the materials and put the effort into creating a craft that has just the right touch for the recipient. Even better, you have time to start over in case your first attempt looks more like a Halloween scare than a Christmas gift.
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5. Redirect Your Social Fund
Summer is the season for barbecues, swim parties and weekend getaways. With school back in session, your entertainment budget will probably go down some. You know your kids will be busy with school and homework during the week, so save some money for fun on the weekends but redirect the rest to saving for Christmas.
Saving and searching for gifts early makes Christmas a lot easier to enjoy. It also keeps your stress level down. Wouldn’t you rather focus on holiday traditions and time with your family? Yeah, we would too!
Plan for Christmas in advance. We hear August is a good month to start.