Monday, September 13, 2010

Holiday Savings-Tip #1

Hello Readers!

As promised, I am going to start writing a weekly tip to help you save for the upcoming holiday season. Each week, I will present a topic that will carry you to the holidays stress free, budgeted and able to enjoy what the holidays are actually about!

I have selected 6 wonderful ladies to join me on this journey. I will be sharing examples from them in future posts to help you see how my tips apply in real life! I am excited to help them save money this holiday season.

Each week I will share a tip, if you want to follow on this journey simply apply the strategies that I will share and I hope (promise?) that if you do these steps (as I have successfully in the past) you will be able to be debt free post holidays and who doesn't want that?

In order to benefit most from these weekly posts, I recommend you put the time needed to apply the strategy and if you are going to follow the steps that you do them in order as that is how I am writing them for maximum savings options!

This week the topic is: Who to buy for?

It seems easy huh? However, I have found myself many times at the last minute realizing that I had forgotten someone (teacher at 10 pm the night before Christmas break...ha, ha!). You don't want to have this happen to you and it costs you $!! It is best to start right now making a list over the next week of all the people you plan to purchase gifts for. I use Excel to make my list, but you can use paper/pencil, iPod, etc....whatever medium is going to work best for you to track what you have bought (we will do this as we purchase items, topic coming soon!). If you give yourself a week to think about who you need to buy for you probably will have a more complete list. It might look something like this (categories only, please list actual names on your list):

-Friends & Family
-Service Professionals (newspaper, mail, hairdresser, etc.)
-Business Colleagues
-Children's friends
-Holiday Party Hostess Gifts

I would recommend writing down the name for EACH individual. This way you can add the gift you purchased next to their name once you have gathered the perfect item(s). I can email you my spreadsheet if you want, contact me at for that!

Once you have your gift list and names will differ for everyone based on who you typically buy for and what your budget allows. Just remember to be as comprehensive as possible because planning ahead allows you to save a bundle!

With your complete list in hand I want you to come up with a $ figure for your budget for each gift. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! It is easy to want to, but if you want to watch what you are spending this step is essential. Don't worry if your budget is a little trim this year, I have great strategies to help you along and we will be able to find a great gift for any budget!

With each person and the approx. $ amount next to their name, I would like you to total up the amount of the budgeted items and add it all together. With this figure, I would like you to divide it by 11. This is the amount of weeks that ideally you have to put towards gifts for the rest of the year. I want you to be done a bit early. If you have already been saving $ or you have $ set aside, even better, but if you don't yet (don't panic!), this just gives you an idea of how much you will need each week to put towards what your current budget is. Too much? Then you may want to revisit and figure out more appropriate #'s for what you need to buy for. You also may be pleasantly surprised at what you are able to get for really low amounts of $ with my tips too! Regardless, you have an idea of what you can spend and that allows shopping to be so much easier!

Now that you have your #'s in mind and your list, let's start shopping! Next week, my post will include some real examples from my Summer's Savers on who we are going to profile for specific gift giving categories. I hope you enjoy our strategies and learn about saving along the way!

Happy Saving!

Summer H.

1 comment:

mindy said...

Hey Summer! I'm excited to start reading about your holiday savings plan. I'm all about saving money. Unfortunately, I'm also all about spending money. Thus the driving need to save a little money this season. We've also planned a trip to Disneyland over Thanksgiving so Christmas is going to look a little different this year. The less the kids know about that the better. Great blog! :)