Empower Blog

September 02, 2021

It’s Never Too Early to Plan for Holiday Gift Giving

Holidays, Money-Saving Tips
Somehow it is already September, which means the holidays are right around the corner. I do not mean to alarm anyone, but Thanksgiving is only 79 days away and Christmas is in 109 days! With how fast 2021 has flown by so far, these days will be here before we know it. Before you shake your head at the mention of Christmas, don’t worry – I am not suggesting you pull out the Christmas tree and start counting down the days. I am just saying that if you start saving and planning for family gatherings and gift buying now, come November and December, you will be patting yourself on the back.

Budget for Gift Giving

Give yourself an idea of how much you will need in your gift buying budget by deciding who you want to buy for and how much you want to spend on each person. This will give you direction for saving and shopping. You can also take the reverse approach and give yourself a set budget from the get-go, then factor people into it. Say you decide you want to spend $1,500 total on gifts, and you want to designate $100 of that to coworkers. If you have 10 coworkers, then the limit is $10 each. This will allow you to shop in that range without sweating about breaking the bank. Just because you have compiled your list and numbers already, does not necessarily mean that you need to start your holiday shopping today – but it also does not mean you should not…

Start Shopping Now

Unless you are going to buy something overtly themed for the winter or holidays, there is no reason you cannot stretch your expenses out and start your shopping now. For instance, if you know there is a specific item that someone on your list is after, and it is already available for purchase, why not spend that money now and then you will not have to worry about it down the road. Spreading out your holiday purchases over time will help you avoid expensive, last minute shopping trips when the stores are overly packed around the holidays. A word to the wise, though, if you are going to start shopping early – have a place to store your gifts so you do not forget about them come December.

Savings Reminders

If you are still enjoying the last couple weeks of summer and are not keen on jumping into the holiday season just yet, you should still have a budget in mind so you can start putting away a little bit every week, or every month, until it is time to shop. One method that a lot of budgeters find effective is to withdraw cash when it is time to shop. That will ensure you stick to your budget, rather than charging purchases to your credit or debit card. Just remember to get receipts for what you buy.

Start saving and planning for the gift-giving part of the holidays early so that when the holiday season officially comes around, you can spend your time with family doing the things that matter instead of fighting crowds or hunting sales. You might also be able to find some items for cheaper now with the end of summer sales that will start hitting the stores here shortly.
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About the Author
Professional Picture of Kat Hnatyshyn
Kat Hnatyshyn

Branch Manager

Kat’s Money Corner is posted in the Kansas City Star every week. When not blogging or caring for her little ones, Kat is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union.