July 11, 2018
Before we dive deep into this topic I've got a question for you - have you actually heard this phrase before - "Christmas in July?" I'm going to need you to go ahead and give me a yes or no comment section for this one because I just found out a friend of mine has never heard this phrase before and it baffled me. To be fair, he's from the northeast, so maybe Christmas in July is just a southern thing? Who can say.
However, whether you've heard of this phrase or not, it really is a great idea to actually start preparing for Christmas in July. As someone that's done this exactly once in their life (this year not being one of them), it is one of the better decisions I've ever made. In fact, last year I actually started planning for Christmas in April/May and it made my holiday season an absolute breeze. Here's why:
1. It saves your budget - When you start saving money in July for Christmas, it means you won't be trying to pinch pennies in October and November for the presents you want to purchase. Setting aside a little cash each month throughout the year will give you a nice pile of spending money for Christmas and your budget won't have to take a massive hit.
2. It saves your sanity - Setting aside money each month to spend on Christmas gifts not only takes the load off of your wallet, but also gives you the freedom to purchase gifts throughout the year, rather than running around like a crazy person on December 24th. (Oh that's just me that does that? Okay, cool.) You can start picking up gifts here and there, giving you the opportunity to get ahead of the game and actually enjoy the holiday season when it arrives.
3. It saves your gift-giving reputation - Giving gifts is my favorite love language but any time I wait until the last minute to purchase them I wind up giving random presents just to make sure I'm giving something. Setting aside money throughout the year allows you to pick up gifts as you come across them or order specialized ones in plenty of time.
This time last year I had a nice Christmas sinking fund set up and I was feeling prepared for the holiday season. However, this year, I haven't been nearly as diligent and I am being reminded why I started saving earlier last year in the first place. I'm planning on picking up some slack in my August budget so I can get a bit ahead of the Christmas rat race. August is better than never, right? (That's what I'm telling myself.)
Do you have any special tips or tricks that get you and your budget ready for the holidays? I'd love to hear!
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