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What is the best Christmas budgeting tip according to you?

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Christmas is knocking at the door. What according to you is the best tip to plan a Christmas budget? Feel free to share your ideas.

Spend $0 which is within my means. Send Santa my wish list - this1that1whatever(dot)com/miscellany/xmas/. Win the $50 which I will then spend on gifts for others. [This is in fun and I don't expect to win the prize for best answer.] Seriously, don't get into debt over Xmas - give love & care, your attention and time.

Sub: #1 posted on Wed, 12/01/2010 - 15:20

ptrans ptrans

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Open a Christmas Club account at your local financial institution. This allows you to place funds as they come avaiable in an account that is specifically for Christmas. You can plan out your savings strategy and have funds available for the holiday season without utilizing charge cards or other loan services that can derail you financial plans.

Sub: #2 posted on Fri, 12/03/2010 - 08:00

Rodney Russell Rodney Russell

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Watch for sales and purchase gifts throughout the year. If you have an item in mind to purchase check the internet first for pricing and shipping costs. Some times you can get the item cheaper and free shipping. Making your Christmas gifts is a big hit with family and friends. I do this each year, with gift baskets, filling them with items I've purchased or baked.

Thrift stores are a great place to do your holiday shopping. You can find that unique item, some times even an antique.

Christmas is all about being with family and friends, not how much the gift is worth!

Sub: #3 posted on Fri, 12/03/2010 - 11:29

Buzzette Buzzette
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In January, I start contributing $5 to $10 every paycheck to my Christmas Club that my credit union offers. On December 1, the credit union deposits my Christmas Club account into my regular checking account. By saving throughout the year, I am not so stressed for money to buy gifts at Christmas.

Sub: #4 posted on Fri, 12/17/2010 - 07:54

Lizzie1014 Lizzie1014
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Shopping throughout the year. There have been countless times that I have gone into a store and saw something that immediately made me think of a family member or loved one. Keeping a mental note of it simply is not enough. If you have the extra cash, purchase the item. Then come Christmas time, you will not have to worry about stressing over the crazy holiday shoppers out there or the long lines and hours of waiting on Black Friday! You can find better deals during different times of the year that will save you more money than shopping around the holidays.

Sub: #5 posted on Sun, 12/19/2010 - 23:08

damoms59 damoms59

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We actually don't plan for a Christmas budget. For us, Christmas shopping for the next year starts the day after Christmas. We buy a few presents every month and put them away on the top shelf. This generally takes care of parents and siblings. Then, throughout the course of the year, we jot down the things that the kids throw out at us and then pick them up as we can. By the time Christmas next year rolls around there is actually very little that we have shop for. For co-workers we always whip up a batch of our special Christmas cookies so very little expense there and for those last minute gifts for people we haven't planned for we always have the little left over gifts that were purchased throughout the year. Hope this idea helps those out there that struggle this time of year.

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 12/22/2010 - 12:55

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I actually try throughout the year pay a little extra on my utility bills and at the end of the year I usually am in the situation where they owe me money and therefore ask them to use that credit towards my December bill. This frees up the money i would have spent on bills for gifts. BUT I have had severe finicial setbacks over the past 2 years and have come to realize if people don't get gifts from you they dont get offended. They are not giving to get. I also bake goodies and after Christmas hit the BIG sales and save the holiday theme items to give the goodies in.

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 12/22/2010 - 13:01

Alias aka Alias Alias aka Alias

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I think the best tip for budgeting for Christmas is doing just that--budgeting. Don't go shopping without a written plan for what each personon your list is getting and how much you will spend. Homemade & handmade gifts are the most economical, drawing names for family get-togethers & whittling down your list in general is essential. Not every cousin needs a gift! Have handmade gifts or baked goods on hand for last minute gifts. Take these to last minute dinners or get togethers that you are invited to to keep costs down and still look prepared. Lastly, prepare all year! Using recycled "trash-to-treasure" methods can ensure that you are always ready for the holidays...on a dime!

Sub: #8 posted on Thu, 12/23/2010 - 10:09

lisaawilliamson lisaawilliamson

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If you are having financial problems, you need to free yourself from them so you can establish some financial stability for yourself. going into debt over Christmas gifts for everyone is not the way to do that, especially if you tend to overdo.

When considering what to buy and for whom, keep this in mind:

If the people you are buying gifts for and entertaining are your friends/loved ones (and why would you do anything for anyone who isn't among them) and they truly have your best interests and happiness at heart (and if they don't are they really friends/loved ones?) they will not want you going into debt or not paying bills that are going to cause you future problems just to get them some item they may or may not like and/or might be returning to the store the day after Christmas. If they truly care about you and you can't see your way clear to purchase a gift for them, try giving them the gift of your time, your "ear", something (a talent/skill) you are able to do such as painting a room, planting a garden, walking a dog, babysitting, whatever) that will make their world easier and happier and won't cost you a thing financially. Giving of yourself and your time and talents is probably the best gift of all as not all really great gifts can be measured by dollar bills. Write them a note and share a special memory you think they'd enjoy from the past recent or distant and include a coupon, for example, one room painted, one or two nights of free babysitting, walking their dog when they have to work late, whatever. Try it, it shows you care even without a big budget.

Sub: #9 posted on Thu, 12/23/2010 - 17:49

Gretchen VonDerhoff Gretchen VonDerhoff

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Fist of all Merry Christmas to all of you.
Christmas is a time for celebration and good cheer. However, the gifting and feasting can create tensions and cause debt. Decide this Christmas I am going to have a debt free Christmas and I am not going to spend what I don???t have in hand. My tips for this Christmas are, keep your credit card away from you & use your low limit debit card & as well as make payments in cash for your festival needs. Try to buy gift & other items online which store provides great discounts on purchase try to save more money & make this Christmas more enjoyable like never before without hassle & debt .

Sub: #10 posted on Fri, 12/24/2010 - 23:35

Chandrashekhar Chandrashekhar

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