With about a couple of days left before Christmas, we have officially entered crunch time for those of us that have not finished our shopping. It’s not so much that I haven’t executed my gift buying plan for my immediate family to perfection, because I have. I am literally just waiting for all the packages to show up on my front doorstep.
However, this is the time when I realize everything I had forgotten. We’re getting together with my parents, brother and his family on Christmas Day which means a gift exchange. What about teachers, bus drivers, mail carriers, and exactly what are the plans to get together with my wife’s family again? It’s that time when you’re tempted to close your eyes, throw your budget to the wind and just plow through the next few weeks and worry about damage control when the calendar flips to January.
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My advice is simple: Don’t do it.
Take a deep breath, slow your roll, and don’t panic. Follow these three easy steps, and you’ll be in great shape.
- Make a List: Before I started my Christmas shopping I had made a list of people and gifts. Ok, so I’ve discovered that it was incomplete. It’s time to sit down and make a new plan for what is left including who you have to buy for yet, what you’re buying, and how much it’s going to cost.
- Create a Spending Plan: You need to figure out how you’re going to fund the spending that’s left. You may need to redo your personal spending plan to make everything fit.
- Take A Vacation Day: Besides money, the biggest obstacle to completing your shopping is time. Many people have vacation they need to take by the end of the year or they’ll lose it. I commonly plan to take a day close to Christmas to wrap up my present shopping. I map out my day as to where I’m going, and in what order. If I can take my time I’m more likely to stick to my spending plan and remain on budget.
These are the exact same steps that you may have started with back in November. The difference is, you’re on a shortened cycle. Just because time is short doesn’t mean you can’t be deliberate and methodical about redefining what’s left to be done, coming up with a plan, and executing it.
So, clever friends, how are you doing with your shopping?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock