Every year it happens- December comes after November. It is a month full of craziness, diet breaking food and bank emptying expenses. And yet every year we are surprised. We can’t believe that it snuck up on us so quickly. With resources already stretched tight just to get basic bills paid the additional holiday costs- gifts, clothes for company holiday parties, travel- are now going to blow the budget.
So we pull out the plastic and make poor decisions that we spend the next six months paying back.
Why not make this year different? Some simple steps can completely change your situation when Black Friday comes around.
- Use coupons and save on things you already purchase- Using coupons does not have to be a complicated process. In its most simple form take the coupon inserts out and cut the coupons for products you already buy. Then take the money you save each week and throw it in a jar or drawer. At $5 a week you should have a nice nest egg for some Black Friday shopping.
- Start shopping now- Just because a gift is given in December does not mean it cannot be purchased in April. Set aside some space in your home and start storing toys, candles, body lotion and gift cards. A $20 gift card costs $20 in June or December.
- Start now using companies that give you store credits- Imagine how easy holiday shopping would be if you had a big stack of gift cards for payment. Websites like Swagbucks.com and Recyclebank.com let you earn gift cards for watching videos and taking quizzes.
- Shorten your shopping list- Ask your family about drawing names this year instead of purchasing multiple gifts. Agree with your spouse in advance to focus on the kids and not each other. Instead of buying gifts for each of your friends maybe take a night to go out to eat instead (plus you can use a coupon for the meal).
Take these simple steps now to ensure December does not surprise you this year!