Planning for the Holidays Throughout the Year

The holidays are over, it’s time to reflect and start planning for next year!

                                                          Santa planning for the holidays

Don’t let Christmas creep up on you, get a jump-start on the 2018 Holiday Season with these simple tips!

  • Holiday Card Mailing List. Keep a list as you receive holiday cards and write down the return address on the envelope this way you ensure you have an updated mailing list when next year rolls around.
  • Take Inventory. After the holidays take inventory of your decorations and make a list of anything you are missing or may need to replace. Keeping a list like this on your phone will be handy as you come across these items during the year.
  • Stock Up on Decor. The best time to get your holiday decorations, gift wrapping supplies and Christmas cards is right after Christmas. Most of the chain retailers are open early and it’s your chance to snag clearanced holiday items for next year, not to mention all of the discounted candy!
  • Create a Master Gift List. Make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for and throughout the year as people mention things that they like make a note so you have something to reference when you are ready to shop!
  • Make a Budget. If you know how much you spent on gifts this year make a plan to save that amount by the time Christmas comes around.
  • Shop Early. If you already know what you are planning to get someone keep an eye out throughout the year for a good sale and stock up.

    • The biggest shopping days of the year are Thanksgiving / Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Websites like bfads.net start leaking store ads in October. Check in daily to see what stores are offering the best prices for the items on your list. And make sure to pick up your local newspaper on Thanksgiving Day to get all of the local ads and coupons!
  • Sign Up for Everything. If a store offers a free reward program or a mailing list sign up for it. If you are worried about them spamming your inbox create a new account which you only use for shopping. By doing this you will receive sale alerts and special discounts.

    • If you know you are planning to shop online sign up for rebate websites such as Ebates or Plenti. If you shop through their websites you will receive cash back for your purchases.
  • Lower Your Interest Rate. If you are always on time with your credit card payments then give your credit card company a call and negotiate a lower interest rate. If they aren’t willing to budge there are lots of other options out there, and make sure to let them know that.
  • Use Your Points. As you shop if you are planning to use a credit card make sure you have one with a good rewards program or cash back. Save your points until the end of the year and you can either use your rewards to help pay off some of your Christmas presents. Another option if your card offers it is to redeem your points for gift cards. You can either use these to help you save money when purchasing gifts for others or you can give them as gifts, who doesn’t like receiving a gift card on Christmas?
  • Start Decluttering. Throughout the year take stock of the items you have and maybe haven’t used in a while and when swapping your wardrobe over for the change of the seasons try to go through and pair it down. By doing this you will eliminate clutter and help to make room for all of the gifts you will be getting for the holidays.

    • As you declutter keep a box of the items that are still in working order. You can either have a big garage sale and put the proceeds towards your holiday budget or you can make a charitable donation to organizations like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. These organizations will give you a receipt which you can use as a write off come tax time!
    • If you have a lot of clothes you also have the option of working with a local consignment shop or online versions such as ThredUp, these companies will sell your clothes and accessories for you and give you a percentage of the sale price.  
  • Save Your Boxes. For some reason you never can seem to find the right sized box when you need it. If you know you are going to be mailing gifts save your boxes. Breakdown the boxes so they will lay flat and not take up too much space. And don’t forget to save the bubble wrap. Why spend the money when you can reuse!