Taking Advantage of ‘Christmas in July’

Christmas in July is not just about saving money anymore. For the most serious of shoppers, it’s preparing a strategy and getting your decorative Santa’s in the straightest of rows. Some might be a bit hesitant to talk about Christmas so early, but these next 5 months will go by in a flash. Staring to sweat and want to get ahead of the game? Here are some tips to make the most of your Christmas in July.

One of the most important things to remember is to stay calm. You still have a handful of months to prepare for Christmas. Now is the time to arm yourself with strategies that will save your wallet from the holiday blues. Experts recommend that that if you are going to start planning now have a game plan in place so you are not maxing out credit cards come December.

The first step is to go ahead and set a budget now. Determine what you want to spend for Christmas and then divide the total amount by 5 for the months that you have remaining until crunch time. This way you can set the money back for the remainder of the year. Financial websites and apps will be helpful tools in this process.

Another good idea is to look for deals now. How exactly is that possible with back to school and summer sales plaguing us? Take advantage of those sales or closeouts for the friends and loved ones with specific passions, hobbies or needs. Think about family members who have newborns, or that uncle who loves golfing, or your best friend who loves to camp. Look for these items at the sales and keep a running list of gift ideas and spending limits for each person on your phone. The bonus is that you have money saved up now, so you will have cash on hand to buy them early instead of waiting until December.

Worried about that beach vacation and a Christmas budget? Look for small ways to save money on vacation like driving to your destination instead of flying. Even the smallest of changes can make a big difference in the Christmas budget. You can save a large portion of your goal in a short amount of time. Also, if you happen to come under budget on monthly expenses stash the difference back. An extra $20 or $50 here and there can make a big difference in the long run.

If you are looking to keep expenses low this Christmas in July look no further than DIY Christmas ideas. If you are feeling crafty go to Pinterest or Instagram for your ideas. Starting now you will have plenty of time to gather materials and create your Christmas masterpiece.

Finally, get your plans finalized early. Don’t wait until everyone is sitting around the Thanksgiving turkey to put together plans for Christmas. Maybe start talking about it now if you can to accommodate schedules and book early flights. Getting in touch early might also keep you from buying surprise last minute Christmas gifts. Keep these tips in mind to have a happy and merry Christmas in July.

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Staff Writer