Christmas is a wonderful time of year with family and friends. A house full of tinsel, kids, and extra dishes. It can turn into a very stressful time of year with high expectations and large bills.
We have worked on it for many years to be able to de-stress the holiday season as much as possible. For my family, it is now a very low-stress time of year, with an understanding that we get gifts year-round and that one day a year should not break us. We make our time off about the time the family spends together and not things. However, it is fun to receive gifts!
How we destress Christmas time and cost
One of the ways we destress that time of the year is buying gifts year-round and hiding them until the occasion. We all have a space that no one looks at or walks by daily without considering the fact that a hidden gift may be tucked away between the summer beach towels.
I once bought my husbands a gift 6 month in advance because I found it for 80% off. Nothing can beat 80% off! Then I hid it in plain sight. It was in a Walmart bag between the laundry detergents that he walks by 10xs a day.
Be smart while using the credit
The buying season can be costly it you are not reasonable while using your credit. There are a lot information and/or company that could be of a good help in this matter. For example, Creditsesame.com is a business I find I am in need of during the buying season. When you find a good deal, you need to snag it even if that means using credit to buy it. None of us want more debt but it is worth it if you will save yourself and your family money in the long run.
When using credit, we all need to be smart and protect ourselves, that why I use Credit Sesame because they use TransUnion to review information that will influence my credit score making the process easy and perceptive of my future needs. They also monitor my credit and keep me up to date with a credit check once a month. This helps me see how I am doing in my goals of paying off my bills and keep an eye on what I will have to spend for the coming holiday season.
How I save money for the winter season
The process of buying decorations is not as easy as stretching out buying gifts through the year. This is because decorations are generally only available during the winter season. If I have done my job right and bought gifts at sales throughout the year, such as Black Friday, then I will have enough budgeted for a few new decorations each year.
I like to keep as little stuff packed away but having that box of decorations in the attic saves me money each year that I can allocate to other Christmas needs. Adding only a new decoration or two each year keeps the house fun.
I also like to keep track in my mind or with pictures from the previous year of how I decorated so that I can change it around. This keeps the house from feeling dull.
As I always remind my family, Christmas is not about things! It is about being together most of all. The best way we can be together as a family is to have as little debt as possible. This enables us to be home with each other instead of trying to make more money to cover more debt.
And you, how do you save money for Christmas? Do you buy Christmas gifts during the year-round? Please share.