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3 BRILLIANT STEPS TO SAVE CHRISTMAS STRESS AND MONEY

READ ON – I HAVE A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU

Do you want to know why Santa is such a successful gift giver? It’s because of his list.

I’m not kidding – a properly thought out Christmas list will save you loads of stress plus lots of money.

christmas picture

As an early Christmas pressie for my readers, I have made a free printable Christmas list to help you get started.

First, let me ask you – are you hoping for a fun filled stress-free Christmas this year? Do you want to avoid the last minute crowd fight to buy the perfect gifts and save money at the same time?

There’s one very simple way to achieve this – START NOW.

If there was time I’d tell you to start in January, well I am telling you. Start in January, for next year, when the sales are on. It will save you a fortune.

But now is not too late to get prepared for this one and save some money too.

GET ORGANISED

The first thing you need to do is get organised. Download and print out my free Christmas list by clicking the caption link below and get started.

 

3 SIMPLE STEPS

  1. Use the Christmas list as your start point.
  • Estimate what you can afford – all up – on Christmas.
  • Put this amount in the “Total Budget” space.  Now work out how much food, drinks and decorations will cost (this could vary each year depending on whether or not you are hosting). The difference between the food/decorations costs and the total is what you have left to spend on gifts.
  • Go through your contact list and write down everyone you acknowledge at Christmas time – even if it’s only with a card or email – you may need to print off several copies of the list depending on the number of contacts you choose to acknowledge.
  • Tick off the ones you acknowledge with just a card or email first (in the ‘card’ column) and put a line through the ‘gift’ column so you know you do not need to find a present for them.
  • people have about three levels of gift buying – moderate spending on friends and relatives they are not especially close to (let’s call them group 3), more on close friends and relatives (group 2) and the most on partners, besties and kids and parents (group 1). So divide your gifts budget accordingly. Here’s the formula: 2/3 of gift total to spend on group 1, leaving 1/3. Use ¾ of the remaining 1/3 to go on group 2 and the remaining to be spent on group 3.

In real money terms, it looks like this. Gift total = $300. That gives you $200 to spend on Group 1, $75 to spend on group 2 and the remaining $25 for group 3. Divide this further to get individual totals so that if you have 5 people in group 1, that’s 5 into $200, so $40 per person.

If it feels like you don’t have enough to buy the gift you’d be happy giving, start to think outside the box and go for the emotional hand-made gift.

See my post Gifts to Make Your Mama Cry for ideas on these gifts – they always surpass very expensive store bought gifts in sentiment and can cost very little.

You will be able to save a lot of money while making people very happy with this technique but be wary of the crafts you decide to make – some can end up costing more than the store bought present! Also, try to save ambitious and time-consuming handmade gifts for next Christmas and get started on them early.

I will be posting affordable and adorable Christmas gifts to make on Wacky Wednesdays later next month. You can also check out my Pinterest board for some great ideas.

Use the “To Do” column for gifts you need to make and other gift related jobs.

Christmas picture

Study the list and think about what each person on it likes and imagine the kind of gift you will find for them.

  1. With list in hand hit the shops – really try to do this during the next week or two. Try to get everyone’s gift by mid-November. You may find it helpful to give yourself a proper deadline for gift buying and write it down.
  2. If you have finished all your shopping by mid-November then you can spend the next two weeks crafting and wrapping. You will have all gifts bought, made (except for food gifts which have to be made closer to the date) and wrapped. You can send any that need to go through the mail and RELAX – you now have a luxurious four weeks to plan a festive feast while watching the crowd shopping frenzy you have avoided. The only other chore left is to print off more lists, fill in the contact names and have them ready to go with you to the January sales for next year. 🙂

You will notice I’ve put a column for “received” on the list. This is to record (by a tick) who sends you a card/email and by description what gifts you receive. There are two really good reasons for this. Firstly, Christmas is sometimes the only contact we have with various acquaintances and if you haven’t heard back there could be a reason you need to know – maybe they’re sick or maybe they’re gone and it is painful for the relatives to keep getting cards for them. It’s easy to lose track of who has sent you what without a list.

The second reason is that many people take advantage of re-gifting things they have no use for. Don’t freak out – I have no problem if someone re-gifts something I’ve given them. My gift is still useful to them and, therefore, is still helping them out and I’d rather that than it be stuck in the back of a cupboard.

The only danger with re-gifting is that could make the mistake of giving the gift back to the person who originally gave it to you if you don’t keep a record.

Ah, wonderful lists! How could we manage without them? Santa really knows his stuff. Happy shopping, making, wrapping and planning, and have a glamorous week, Tamuria.

PS: If you’ve forgotten you can download the list here.

PPS: Don’t forget to spread the love and share this on Facebook and Pinterest.

Happy planning and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.

 

 

 

 

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14 Comments

  1. Our family foregoes gifts and gets together for a nice and peaceful dinner. Congrats on turning your document into a downloadable PDF and it looks fabulous! I do give gifts to the service folks in my life and generally keep it rather simple. Gift cards for a few and wine for others. Keep it simple and cost effective, so the meaning of the season isn’t lost on the gift part of the holiday. And did I mention I am Jewish, so even for Hanukkah, we don’t do gifts, but often get together and have a meal specific to the holiday. Of course we light candles each night and sing as well. Your post offers a great way to stay ahead of the franticness this time of year brings for so many people, Tami. And I might just download your PDF because you are so excited you actually created it! 🙂
    Beverley Golden recently posted…You Should Take Fun More Seriously!My Profile

    • Hahaha Beverley – I’m like a little kid in a candy shop at the moment. I’m enjoying learning all these new things. I think the gift giving thing has gotten way out of hand. I like the idea of giving gifts, but I hate that it causes so much stress for many of my friends. As always, thanks for your support. 🙂

  2. Great list. I”m an organizer and I don’t think I’ve gotten THIS organized at Christmas! Downloading and printing! Thanks
    Lisa Swanson recently posted…How To Choose A Weight Loss Accountability PartnerMy Profile

  3. rozbeads

    I so enjoy your blogs. always creative, full of useful content and a reflection of your personality. I get you enjoy life, have fun & a great relationship with your hubby. This list is a great guide. And kudos to you for creating it. See how smart you are?

  4. This is a timely list for me, Tamuria because in India, before Christmas, we have Diwali which is just around the corner and there is going to be lots of gift giving going on. I’m pinning this one for future reference!
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…Negotiate to WinMy Profile

  5. Delia

    Oh, I love the poems Tami, so cute! Of course, I’m not nearly as organized as I should be for Christmas, so maybe your great list would help me and give me the push to do better!

    Congrats for creating this downloadable list and for sharing it with us, thanks!
    Delia recently posted…How to set up categories and tags for your WordPress blogMy Profile

  6. Organization is definitely key and this list is very timely, since I’ve already started ordering and receiving gifts for family members. Thanks for making it a PDF! I also make a lot of gifts and should have started those MONTHS ago!
    K. Lee Banks recently posted…Letting Go and Letting God – October 29 DevotionsMy Profile

    • Christmas seems to come around so quickly doesn’t it? Particularly if you make a lot of gifts yourself. Hope the list helps. 🙂

  7. The year has flown by and here it is less than two months until Christmas and I’m completely unprepared. Thank you for your post and downloadable list. It truly makes me feel ready to get more organized and get this done!
    Teresa recently posted…Why I’m Choosing to be a Stay at Home GrandmaMy Profile

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