Tag Archive | "Christmas shopping tips"

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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Top Five Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

When we find that the days are approaching towards the next festive holiday or special occasion, we all get the dreaded feeling of not knowing what to give out as a great holiday gift idea. We worry that whatever it is that we choose for the person or people we have in mind, there is no way that they will be truly happy with what we bring. That is, until you remember the old saying that items made from the heart last a lifetime and are always the best gift to give.

So you sit down and start to think over this holiday gift idea, and which one you should do for this special celebration. You pound your mind trying to think how you can beat out all the other gifts as the top prize this person has received. You imagine how you become the envy of all the other givers, who are now wishing they had thought of this holiday gift idea first. The only problem is, you doubt you know what the most popular homemade gifts are, so you scour the Internet in hopes of finding some simple yet extravagant patterns or recipes you can make for this holiday.

As you search you start to notice how pictures keep coming up in a recurring theme as the hottest holiday gift ideas ever since acid-free paper was born. The first idea you get in your head is how you could take pictures with your digital camera of the event in question, buy a multiple picture frame from the nearest superstore, and bring your picture-printer with you so that by the end of the night you may present the item as the last and most perfect gift. This would indeed be the last laugh and memory of the evening, but this leads you to your next idea.

Whenever you have wanted to keep the memories and feelings of an eventful moment of your life, you remember how your mother or best girlfriend would make scrapbooks of the event. As an extra-special holiday gift idea, you could get together pictures of some great times with this person, as well as stickers and other items to remind them of wonderful times gone by. But what if you don’t have any pictures of this person, what ever are you to do? Well, a tangent of the scrapbook called a dream board is also an amazing holiday gift idea.

A dream board, also called a vision board, is where you place the items you want on a poster board and hand it up where you can see it everyday. Ever since The Secret has become popular, a vision board has become yet another hot holiday gift idea to give. You realize you can decorate the board with whatever the theme of this person’s dreams are, such as money for wealth, palm trees for travel, or car keys for a new vehicle. This could be a fun project to make, but you wonder if you really know what this person wants. You mark this holiday gift idea as a distinct possibility, but move on with your research until you find a blog talking about Vanna White.

You find out that Vanna, a star from the Wheel of Fortune game show, is an avid crocheter and loves to make afghans as presents for everyone in her family and circle of friends. However as a popular holiday gift idea she recommends lap-ghans or baby blankets. A lap-ghan is pretty much half of a full afghan that an adult uses to keep their legs warm at night. This would be a cool gift that would be received well, but you still want to see what lies at your favorite on-line recipe sites.

Baking goods have always been the biggest homemade gift that is given out, whether it be cookies, pies, or cakes. Being that this is going to be a potluck, and that these gifts are given out all the time, you are about to give up on this idea until you find a new trend: cookie, brownie and other such baked goods’ dry ingredients are placed inside mason jars, topped with fabric, a small wooden spoon, and the recipe. This way, the recipient of the holiday gift idea can make the item whenever they want it. You decide that this is the way to go for this occasion, but are thankful at the information you now know.

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