Surviving the Holidays Lesson #1

I don’t want to admit it yet but…

 
The shopping season is just around the corner and as a college student I cannot wait to go home to spend some quality time with the family.  In the meantime I’ve made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t wait until the last minute to get my shopping done.  Not only does waiting cause some serious stress, but it also ends up in me spending more money special ordering something I could have found on the shelf two weeks ago.
 
As promised in this month’s E-Update, I am going to take the next couple months to share tips, tricks and hacks on how you can save yourself from unnecessary stress and overspending this holiday season.   Before we all start spending money, one of the most important first steps is to do a little bit of pre-shopping planning.
 
 

STEP #1

The first step starts with simply writing down everyone you plan on buying a gift for.  Yes this might sound obvious, but taking a look at the entire list of people you need to shop for can really put the urgency of the situation into perspective.  After you have double-checked to make sure you aren’t forgetting anyone, start assigning an amount of money you want to spend on each of these people.  Sounds weird I know, but giving each person a spending limit will help you to budget your own funds and organize yourself both mentally and emotionally.  This will help you determine who gets an actual present verses a simple card. 
 
Now this might sound easy to do, but it’s actually harder than you might expect.  However, struggling through this first crucial step will define how you spend your money over the next couple of months.  Try it out for yourself and let me know how it works for you.  OR if you’ve tried something similar before, share your experience by commenting below!
 
Until next time,
 
Austin