I don’t know about you, but this year has flown by for me! Now that we’re in October, it’s officially the last quarter of 2014! That got me to thinking that the Holidays are just around the corner – now is the perfect time to start planning for them.
I know, you might be thinking that it’s not even Halloween yet, so why should you think about the holidays now?! Well, it’s because the Holidays will be here before we know it and we need to start getting prepared so that we don’t have to run around like crazy and spend more money than necessary to get ready at the last minute.
When you start planning for the Holidays this far in advance, you have time to buy gifts on sale, pay for regular processing and shipping charges (instead of rush fees and overnight shipping), and save money a bit at a time so that you don’t have to charge all your purchases on your credit card. Now is the perfect time to use the $5 bills you’ve been saving, or even consider using the change you’ve rolled.
To start, just sit and think about your favorite holiday experiences. Are they with family? Do they involve special menus? Do you enjoy sending out special Holiday cards? Have you started thinking about what to buy for your family and friends?
If you answered yes to being with family, does visiting them involve travel? If it means plane travel, start looking at plane tickets and consider booking your flight now before the prices start to skyrocket.
If you enjoy making special food for your family get-togethers (even if it’s bringing a side dish to Nanny’s house and not cooking the entire meal), start thinking about what you want to make this year and write down the ingredients list. If possible, estimate the cost of the ingredients you’ll need and start putting that money to the side.
If you’re planning on sending out a picture Holiday card of your family, go to the park and play around with taking fun family photos together. Also go on the website of the company you’d like to create your card to see how much they will cost. Start putting that money to the side.
Now start thinking about the presents you want to give to people this season. Remember that they don’t always have to be store-bought. Think creatively! Maybe you can knit a pair of socks for Nanny to keep her feet toasty warm this winter. Or maybe Mom would like a framed photo of a beautiful flower that you took this Spring. It’s not a bad thing if you buy all your presents from the store, either. My point is that it’s a good idea to start thinking now about each person on your list and what gift they might appreciate receiving. Then do a little research to determine how much each gift (or the materials to make the gift) will cost. You guessed it, put that money to the side, too.
I’ve created an Excel spreadsheet to help you organize your Holiday gift list. If you’d like to receive this free resource, please fill out the form below.
Remember that you’re just starting these lists and they can be tweaked between now and the Holidays. But it’s helpful to start getting prepared now!
Ok, now go back to planning your Halloween costume! 🙂
Fun fact for today – Over $220 million worth of poinsettias are sold during the holidays! (Source: http://fun.familyeducation.com/december-holidays/history/35012.html)