Tag Archive | "Christmas budget"

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Decorating for Christmas: Should You Buy Your Decorations Online?

When it comes to Christmas, are you like many other Americans? If so, there is a good chance that you will be decorating your home for this coming Christmas season. Although a large number of individuals use the same decorations each year, there are others who like to buy new decorations every so often. If you are in the market for a new set of Christmas decorations where do you plan on shopping? With the recent increase in popularity of online shopping, there is a good chance that you may be interested in buying your Christmas decorations online. The only question is should you?

As previously mentioned, when it comes to shopping online, the popularity of it has rose in recent years. In fact, it seems as if the popularity of online shopping as skyrocketed. This has led many individuals, maybe even you, to believe that shopping online is the best way to shop. However, before you go right out and start buying your Christmas decorations online, you need to know that there are advantages and disadvantages to shopping online; advantages and disadvantages that may reaffirm your to decision to shop online or not to.

Perhaps, the biggest advantage to buying your Christmas decorations online is the selection of products that you will have to choose form. Online, you can, literally, find an unlimited number of retailers and individuals who specialize in selling Christmas decorations. You can easily find all different types of Christmas decorations online, including Christmas trees, Christmas tree ornaments, Christmas lights, Christmas figurines, and much more. In fact, in addition to the style of shopping, you will also find a wide variety of different prices.

The prices that you can find, while shopping for Christmas decorations online, is another one of the many benefits to buying your Christmas decorations over the internet. As previously mentioned, you can easily find a number of low-cost decorations, as well as top of the line, elegant decorations. Therefore, whether you are shopping for Christmas decorations that are affordable or Christmas decorations that are the best out there, you can easily find what you are looking for online. You can do so with a standard internet search. Your internet search will likely lead you to the online website of an online retailer or an individual who specializes in making or selling Christmas decorations.

In addition to the selection of Christmas decorations you will have, as well as the costs, you will also find that shopping online saves you time. What is nice about online shopping is that you can search for online retailers, search for Christmas decorations, place your order, and pay for your order, all while sitting from the comfort of your own home. You can save yourself a fairly large amount of time by finding and buying your Christmas decorations online, instead of having to drive around to multiple retail stores.

As mentioned above, there are also a few disadvantages to shopping for Christmas decorations online. In fact, there are very few disadvantages. One of those disadvantages is the shipping. When you order your items online, the items will be delivered directly to your door. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees as to how your item will arrive. You need to think about this when making a large online Christmas decoration purchase. It is best to double check and make sure that your package will be insured. Insurance will help to protect you from finically being responsible for a damaged package. With buying Christmas decorations online, it is also important to be cautious of the cost of shipping. Some online retailers charge more money for shipping than they need to. If the cost of shipping seems too high to you, you may want to refrain from making the purchase. With a little bit of research, you should easily be able to find the same or similar products with affordable shipping costs.

Since there are a number of advantages and disadvantages to buying your Christmas decorations online, you will need to determine whether you can, personally, benefit from doing your shopping online. In most cases, you will find that you can. In addition to buying your Christmas decorations online, you may also be able to find valuable tips and information on how to decorate your home for Christmas.

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Easing the Financial Burden of Christmas Shopping

Although we all would prefer to not have to worry about finances when it comes to Christmas shopping the unfortunate truth is that the majority of people do not have unlimited funds to spend on Christmas presents for their friends, relatives and co-workers. As a result most of us have to set budgets for Christmas shopping and have to repay any debts which are incurred while shopping for Christmas presents. However, there are ways to ease the financial burden of Christmas shopping. Some of the most common ways to easy the financial burden include spreading out the Christmas shopping throughout the year, opening a Christmas savings account and sticking to a strict budget when it comes to purchasing Christmas presents.

If you typically wait until the last minute to do your Christmas shopping you probably understand the stress of last minute Christmas shopping all too well. Not only is it stressful to have to find appropriate gifts and purchase them, wrap them and deliver them to the recipient in a short time period but it also places a tremendous strain on the wallet especially for those who purchase a large number of gifts or for those who purchase extravagant gift for the recipients on their Christmas shopping list. The problem with this type of Christmas shopping strategy, in addition to the stress of finding great gifts, is the buyer is faced with paying for all of these gifts at one time. This can be very difficult especially for those who are already on a tight budget and may not have a great deal of money left over in their monthly budget. Without proper planning these individuals may be faced with the dilemma of either shortening their list of gift recipients or purchasing inexpensive gifts for each member on their list. However, if these same people plan to shop throughout the year they may find they are able to purchase gifts for one or two individuals on their list each month with the money that is left over in their monthly budget. This strategy of spreading out the Christmas shopping throughout the year makes the financial burden of Christmas shopping significantly less difficult.

Opening a Christmas savings account can also be very useful for the purpose of easing the financial burden of Christmas shopping. This is helpful because most Christmas savings accounts accrue interest and do not allow you to withdraw money from the account before a certain time. This allows you to gain a small amount of interest on your savings and ensures you won’t be tempted to use the money you are saving for Christmas shopping for other expenses throughout the year. You could always take an envelop and add a percentage of each one of your paychecks during the year but if you save this way you will not be earning any interest on the money you are putting aside. Additionally, you may be tempted to use some of the money for small purchase or emergencies which arise during the year. A Christmas savings account is so convenient, you can even have money directly deposited into it from each paycheck or you could simply transfer money into your Christmas savings account from another savings account or your checking account each month.

Finally, the financial burden of Christmas shopping can be eased by setting a strict budget and sticking to this budget. This is important because it can help to keep you from spending more on shopping for Christmas gifts than you had intended. If you budget carefully and plan on only spending as much money as you already have saved or as much as you can afford to spend than you do not have to worry about going into debt to provide Christmas gifts for your loved ones. While it is important to set a budget, it is also important to track your purchases to make sure you are sticking to your budget. If you go over your spending limit on a few people on your list, you will have to consider either eliminating a few people or reducing the amount of money you can spend on a few people. This will help you to remain under your budget.

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Make Your Own Christmas Cards

If you are on a real tight budget this Christmas or just love to be crafty during the holidays here are some wonderful homemade Christmas card ideas for you to try this holiday season.

Potato Stamp Cards:

Supplies you may need for your homemade Christmas Cards:

  • Paper Bags or Craft Paper
  • Potatoes or Sponges
  • Paint or colored ink
  • Ribbons
  • Hole Punch
  • Ink Pen
  • Paring Knife (adult supervision)
  • Plastic Plate
  • Scissors

Step #1 – Check to see if you can find any left over envelopes. You can look in old Christmas card boxes or the drawer where mom or dad pays the bills (ask first). If you find any unused envelopes you can use them and you will need to be sure that the cards you make will fit inside these cards.

Step #2 – Measure the envelope (if you didn’t find any have mom or dad buy some for you).

Step #3 – Cut out the brown paper bag to be the same height as the card but twice as wide as the card.

Step #4 – Cut the potatoe in half with an adult helping.

Cut out a Christmas tree shape on the exposed side of the potato (white not the skin).

Cut away potato from the outer edge of the tree that surrounds the tree. You can use three potatoes to cut out different sizes of trees.

Step #5 – Put the paint or ink onto the plastic plate

Dip the Potato Tree into the paint or ink, now place it on what will be the front of your card (one tree or you can make a group of trees).

Step #6 – Make two holes with the hole punch about a centimeter apart below the Christmas tree.

Step #7 – Insert one end of the ribbon through the left hole, and then put it through the other hole. Loop each end around back and through the opposite hole. Now, pull the ribbon out the front of the card. Tie the ribbon into a pretty Christmas bow.

Step #8 – Use the scissors to trim the ribbon.

You can stamp more trees on the inside or write a holiday greeting.

You can also place Christmas stickers on the card or place crayon ornaments on the trees.

You can also decorate the envelopes too.

Use the sponge instead of the potato or buy stamps in the store.

Easy Construction Paper Cards:

Every child knows how to make Christmas cards out of construction paper. You just fold a piece of construction paper in half. Decorate the one outside half like the front of a Christmas greeting card and write a greeting on the inside of the card. Use Christmas colors (green, red, purple). Use Christmas stickers to decorate the cards if you wish.

Left Over Christmas Cards:

If your family saves old Christmas cards ask if you can use them to make new cards.

You will need the old Christmas cards, construction paper, glue, pen, crayons or markers, and scissors to make these homemade cards.

Sort through the pile of old Christmas cards to find the front of your homemade card. Once you find one you like, cut the front off the old card. You can use parts and not the entire front if you like. You can also use more than one old card to make a different picture.

Fold the construction paper in half

Glue the old card picture onto the front of your construction paper card.

Using the pen, crayons or marker add to the picture, or draw new pictures to go with the old card picture.

Write a holiday greeting on the inside of the card with your pen. You can copy greetings from the old cards.

Ready Made Cards

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Christmas Shopping on a Budget

shopping-guideAlthough most people enjoy the spirit of giving at Christmas time, it is also a fact that Christmas shopping can be a significant financial burden for many. This is especially true for those who have a large family or a large group of friends who regularly exchange Christmas gifts. Christmas shopping can also be a financial problem for those who feel compelled to purchase expensive gifts for each person on their list. However, there are ways to deal with the financial burden which often results from Christmas shopping. One of the ways to deal with this financial problem is to set a budget beforehand. Another way to deal with the financial stress of Christmas shopping is to shop throughout the year instead of all at once. This article will discuss the importance of setting a budget for Christmas shopping as well as how Christmas shopping can become less financially taxing by spreading out the Christmas shopping throughout the year.

Those who have concerns over the amount of money they will be spending on their Christmas shopping should consider setting a budget for their Christmas shopping before they begin their shopping endeavor. In order to begin the process of setting a budget for Christmas shopping, it is important to first create a list of all the people you intend to buy Christmas presents for this holiday season. This list should include all of the close friends and family members you typically purchase gifts for as well as any co-workers or employees you normally purchase gifts for, your mail carrier or your children’s teachers. You may also wish to budget for gifts donated to toy drives organized by charitable organizations if you typically contribute during these events.

Once you have your list of gift recipients there are a couple of ways to go about establishing a budget. Perhaps the simplest way is to decide how much you plan to spend on Christmas shopping and divide this amount by the number of gift recipients on your list. This will result in a budget in which you plan to spend the same amount of money on Christmas gifts for each person on your Christmas list. This type of budget strategy may be appropriate if you plan on purchasing similar gifts for everyone on your Christmas list but it may not work out well if you want to purchase something really special for a few of your closest friends or relatives.

Another strategy for establishing a Christmas shopping budget is to determine how much money you would like to spend and then divide the individuals into different categories. Some of the categories you might want to include are close friends and relatives, business associates, acquaintances and gifts which are purchased for people you do not know. Once you have all of the members of your list categorized you can determine the percentage of your total budget you would like to spend on each category. For example you might decide to spend 50% of your total budget on close friends and relatives, 25% of your total budget on business associates, 15% of your total budget on acquaintances and the remaining 10% on Christmas gifts for charity drives. Then you can use these numbers to determine the total amount of money you will spend on each category and divide that number by the total number of people in each category to figure out a dollar amount for each person on your Christmas list.

A final strategy for establishing a budget for your Christmas shopping is to start out by determining how much you plan to spend on some of the most important people on your gift recipient list. This will most likely include your closest relatives. Once you set dollar amounts for your closest relatives, it is time to divide up the remaining amount of money in your Christmas shopping budget. This can either be done arbitrarily by dividing the remaining amount in your budget by the number of people left on your list or you can continue to go through your list selecting a dollar amount for each person until you reach your budget. At this time if there are still people remaining on your list you will have to either reevaluate the dollar amounts you have already chosen or consider eliminating some people from your list.

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Early Christmas Shopping Tips

If you are one of those people who gets their Christmas shopping done early every year, you probably find yourself getting a great deal of mean looks from others around the holiday season. This is especially true if you make a habit of letting others know you have already finished your Christmas shopping. This happens because the vast majority of people do not get their Christmas shopping done early and may be envious of those who manage to finish their shopping early. The fact that most Christmas shoppers wait until the last minute is evident by the crowds who flock to malls and shopping centers in the final days before Christmas.

If you are one of these people who always finishes their Christmas shopping early you may already have a method to accomplishing this goal. However, if you are like the majority of people who spend every year last minute Christmas shopping this article will provide you with some tips for getting your Christmas shopping done early this year.

One of the best ways to get your Christmas shopping done early is to try to do a great deal of Christmas shopping for the next year in the first few days after Christmas. Although the stores are usually quite crowded on these days there is not the same sense of urgency which prevails in the days just before Christmas so the atmosphere is more relaxed. Additionally, many stores are holding sales so not only can you do a large portion of your shopping but you are also likely to save a great deal of money in the process. The first few days after Christmas are an excellent time to shop because you are likely still in the Christmas spirit.

Another way to get your Christmas shopping done early is to plan on doing all of your Christmas shopping online this year. This is an excellent idea because most retailers will wrap the item for you and ship it directly to the recipient. You will pay a little more for these services but the convenience of not having to do the wrapping yourself or stand in long lines at the post office is certainly worth the extra fee. Committing to Christmas shopping online really helps you to get you shopping done early because you know you have to make your purchases early in order for them to arrive on time.

Another way to get your Christmas shopping done early is plan on purchasing two gifts for each person on your list at the time of their birthday. You can give them the first gift for their birthday and store the other item away until Christmas. This is a great idea because it helps you to get your shopping done early so you can avoid the hassle of going to overcrowded malls and shopping centers and searching for last minute Christmas gifts. If you follow this simple strategy when the Christmas season arrives, you will already have most, if not all, of your Christmas gifts purchased already and you can spend your time relaxing and enjoying the holiday season instead of running around trying to find the perfect gift for each person on your list. While this strategy is effective it is important to note you could be destined to some last minute shopping if you have people on your list who have birthdays in late December. In this case you will have to plan ahead and purchase their birthday gift and their Christmas gift early.

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Setting a Budget for Christmas Shopping

It is never too early to start thinking about setting a budget for Christmas shopping. As much as we would like to be able to purchase anything we want for our friends and relatives, it is an unfortunate reality, that many of us have to budget carefully to be able to purchase Christmas gifts for all of our friends and relatives during the holiday season. With this in mind it is very important to set a budget for Christmas shopping and to try to really stick to that budget.

Some people take an interesting approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping by waiting until they are ready to start shopping to set the actual budget. These individuals usually do this because they are saving specifically for the purpose of Christmas shopping. Whether they open up a bank account specifically for Christmas shopping, set aside money for this purpose in an envelop each week or plan on using a percentage of their income from the month of November for Christmas shopping it is important to set a budget and determine a plan for purchasing all of your Christmas gifts without exceeding this budget.

Other people take a different approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping by shopping throughout the year and incorporating their spending for Christmas presents into their monthly budgets. These individuals may allot a portion of their monthly income to gift giving and either purchase the gifts on a monthly basis or simply set aside the money for a Christmas shopping spree at a later date. Those who spread out the Christmas shopping by doing a little bit of shopping each month not only keep their budget in control but also eliminate a great deal of the stress which often accompanies last minute Christmas shopping.

Still others take a more interesting approach to setting a budget for Christmas shopping. Those who typically receive a financial bonus at work around Christmas time may base their budget on the amount of money they are awarded in this bonus. This strategy may work out well for some as it does not allow them to alter their normal monthly spending strategy because these bonuses are typically not considered in the regular monthly budgeting. However, unless these bonuses are guaranteed annually, there is some risk involved in this strategy. Often annual bonuses are awarded based on criteria such as the companyís earnings and the individual employeeís contributions to the success of the company. The company may not enjoy financial success or the contributions of the employee may not be highly valued and therefore there may be either no bonus or a bonus much lower than expected. When this happens, those who count on bonuses for Christmas shopping may find themselves in a difficult situation.

Budgeting for Christmas shopping is particularly important for those who plan to use credit cards to make their purchases. In the case of credit card purchases it might be worthwhile to spread the Christmas shopping out over the entire year and repay the debts associated with the shopping monthly. This will help to prevent carrying a balance and being charged interest on the balance each month. However, if it is necessary to do all of the Christmas shopping at one time, it is wise to save up during the year for these purchases. Before you begin shopping, evaluate the amount of money you have saved and set a budget for your Christmas shopping. This way even though you are using a credit card and will receive a large bill the following month, you should have enough money to repay the bill in its entirety and avoid paying interest on the debt.

Even those with the best of intentions may find themselves going over their budget when Christmas shopping. When this happens it is important to keep things in perspective and avoid going too far over budget. You may spend too much on one or two people on your Christmas list but you can recover from this by purchasing less expensive gifts than planned for a few other people to compensate.

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