All I Want For Christmas Is …

By Jenny Jiménez on December 3, 2018

Happy Monday Ladies!  I know the weather has been a bit dreary lately but on a good note the holiday lights and decorations already going up should bring you some cheer.  I’m a bit late posting today but I had a hard time uploading the FREE Christmas Shopping List mentioned further below… so keep reading 😉 .

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog below and to the right before you go so you’ll be the first to know when I post!  AND following me on Instagram and Facebook.

I know many of you have probably already begun your Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday… WOW that’s a lot, lol but I wanted to catch you before the end of the month.  Perhaps I should have posted this in November before the sales but hey, better late than never, right.  

I cannot stress enough how important it will be to take a few moments and draft a Christmas budget.  That’s right, you heard me correctly, Christmas budget.  You’re probably thinking that’s the last thing you want to do with all the sales going on and retail therapy BUT, those few moments you spend putting together a plan will help you from starting off 2019 in what I like to call Financial Depression.  Just like you, I have my moments and enjoy a good shopping trip but that joy that you’ll feel on Christmas Day while everyone is opening their fabulous gifts will be short lived when the bills come rolling in weeks later, or even worse when you don’t have enough to make ends meet because you failed to plan for the spending. 

I’m far from perfect when it comes to shopping however I’ve learned along the way (and being the sole provider of the family) that if I budget for these things, I’m literally enjoying life, practically stress-free in January.  Well at least not so stressed about money anyways.  We all know that something else will gladly take it’s place.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn from my mistakes and have a plan.  

I rarely purchase things on Black Friday and Cyber Monday but this year was a bit different.  I went out a few hours after Thanksgiving and purchased a new laptop for me, nothing fancy, and chromebooks for the the kids.  Best Buy was having an amazing deal.  On top of that I also purchased a new Dyson cordless vacuum.  Our home is all hardwood flooring and we like to use that as our broom to sweep.  This way the kids can stay on top of their rooms and it doesn’t take much effort to do a quick cleaning in the dining room and living areas.  It’s official, I’m in love with that thing. 🙂

Anyway the point here is that I failed to plan for it, so I have to revisit my budget for December.  I decided to cut out some additional ME spending and some Eating Out I had planned with the kiddos.  Instead we’ll stay home a few more days and binge watch some movies (FREE) while we eat.  We call these appetizer nights.  We prep some finger foods so that we can plop ourselves on the floor while we watch movies.  It’s always a great time and Elisa and Jonah love doing this.  From time to time I’ll freeze some of our finger foods and we’ll later use that to make a small buffet on appetizer nights.  It’s so easy to do.  No fuss and is ready in minutes.  I would highly suggest that for many of you, whether you have young kids or old kids, everyone loves it.  Or if it’s just you.  I’ve done it alone, with a glass of wine, on several occasions.  

Eliminating a few extras will help me get back on track for the month.  For you it may be eliminating that cup of coffee or perhaps packing lunch instead of buying it.  I have one cup of coffee at home in the morning while I get ready then take another one with me in a coffee mug to work.  I also pack lunch everyday.  I include two water bottles, snacks and my meal.  I may not eat it all but I’d rather have it there than splurge on something in the cafeteria at work and regret it later.  I save a ton of money doing this and often have people approaching me and say “I notice you pack a lunch everyday, I wish I did, I’d save so much money”, and my response is yes you would, I know I do!

So first things first, we need to get you back on track!

I created this easy Christmas Shopping List to simplify things for you.  It really does not have to be complicated.

Christmas Shopping List

FREE Christmas Shopping List here.
Take the following steps before doing anymore shopping:

Determine What Has Already Been Spent: If you’ve already spent a lot of money on shopping last week, go through your receipts and determine how much you have already spent.  

Write Down Who You Were Planning On Buy Gifts For: Make a list of everyone who you had plans on buying for.  Do not leave anyone out.  This includes your child’s teachers, coaches, the mailman and newspaper delivery guy… I mean everyone.  Even your hair and nail stylists if you have one.  Some people feel obligated to buy for all of these people but I generally had rules that I kept to each year when deciding who to buy for. If I had a hair or nail appointment the week of Christmas or just before then I would give a small gift to the stylist, otherwise NO.  Some may say this is cheap but it’s not.  Would you rather buy a gift and spend money you do not have just for the sake of keeping up appearances or would you like to actually enjoy your Christmas without being in debt and having no money in your wallet the weeks that follow.  Consider this when scheduling those appointments.   

Too often people get carried away with the amounts they are spending on gifts and losing sight of “it’s the thought that counts.”  I would much rather have a less expensive gift that was thoughtful than an expensive one that does not suit me at all.  Take the time to speak AND listen to people and gift giving will become easier and less expensive because you’ll know what they’ll like and appreciate.  

Set A Budget: Determine the total amount you would like to spend on ALL the people on your list.  Next begin breaking down the amount to spend on each person.  For example of an overall budget of $1,000, you may only want to spend $10-$15 each on your child’s teacher or coaches.  Again, do not feel obligated to do so.  Sometimes a handwritten note and batch of great Christmas cookies is all that’s necessary.  Remember be mindful.  Also something like this may not cost you much since you may already have the ingredients at home.  

Consider What To Buy: After determining your well thought out budget, next step is to determine what each person may like.  This is a good time for you to search for deals online and in stores.  Many online retailers are offering free shipping for the holiday without requiring a minimum spending amount.  Consider buying online if you already know what a person wants.  This way it’ll be sent directly to you and you won’t have to step foot in a store.  Help yourself avoid the stress of finding parking and feeling like a sardine in a can with others going crazy for holiday shopping.  

Remember to carry your list with you at all times and stick to the budget, no matter what!  Too often we may get carried away or tempted by other items we see at stores or online but DO NOT BUY IT!  STICK TO THE PLAN!  You’ll be so proud of yourself for doing so later on, trust me 🙂 .

If you haven’t yet printed out a FREE Christmas Shopping List above you can do so now and remember, keep this with you throughout the season so you are spending and purchasing wisely.

Stay tuned to future blog posts by subscribing to my blog below and to the right so you’ll be the first to know when I post!

Happy Budget Shopping!

Jenny

The post All I Want For Christmas Is … appeared first on Tenacious Jenny Jiménez.

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