Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekly Savings Tip: July 20, 2009

Get a Jump on Your Holiday Budget

While it is still summer outside, the end of the year holiday season isn’t far away for your budget. Planning now will help you manage your spending in a few more months.

• Set aside $10 a week now and you will have saved $200 by early December. That’s a small amount to pull from your wallet each week but can equal gifts for many friends and family members down the road. You will also avoid interest charges by
saving and using cash.

• Look for sales now for items you think your friends and family might like. Winter clothing, or other gifts that will still be appropriate in a few months, might be on sale this time of year. Get a jump on all the other holiday shoppers who won’t be thinking about gifts for months.

• Consider homemade gifts. Starting now will give you plenty of time to finish well before the holidays. Knit sweaters, make candles, create stationery out of photographs you take or make jam out of fresh, summer fruit. Homemade gifts are always appreciated and there are many ideas and suggestions online that are far more upscale than the macaroni necklace you made for your mother in preschool.

Remember: budgeting and planning ahead for your holiday gift giving can save you money. Decide how much you are able to spend and how many gifts you need to buy before doing your shopping. And, as always, make sure you are buying a sale item that is actually worth the listed price and not just because it is on sale.

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