7/01/2011

Christmas in July - Making a List

As the savvy saver, we know you have become, you have already begun making plans for your future by setting aside savings to cover the costs.  In preparing for Christmas you may already have begun participating in a Christmas Club or have some savings set aside for the holidays.  By preparing ahead, you take the financial and emotional stress out of the holidays and add to the celebration of the season.  The most effective way to stretch your dollars is to disconnect financial decisions from emotional stress and impulses. 

With this in mind Virginia Saves in partnership with Virginia Tech Extension Service has prepared a Christmas list to help you plan ahead even during the summer so that you can find that perfect gift for those special ones in your heart.  The best part is that you can do this without the use of debt to haunt you into the New Year.  The concept is simple and we have attached a form to assist.   Holiday Gift List

Step one:  Identify the people on your holiday shopping list.  Remember not only immediate family but also remember those other gifts that crop up during the season, like the office party, your women's club, neighbors, the baby sitter, the mailman...all the people who have impacted your year.  To help you - begin making a list of those people you purchased for last year and then modify your list from there.

Step two:  Identify the dollar amount you would like to spend for that person's gifts.  You can use an amount from last year and make adjustments or get creative this year... since you have time to plan ahead, you can perhaps make something more personal saving money and adding personality to your gift at the same time.  See our article on Creative Gift Giving this Christmas.

Step three:  Total up the amounts for the individual gifts and now you have an amount for your Christmas Gift Giving Budget.  See our article on Budgeting for Christmas.

Step four: Now that you have people, amounts and even perhaps ideas for gifts in mind, you can start tucking away items over the next few months to destress the shopping portion as well.

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