A lot of PF bloggers – and probably regular people, too – set a small amount of money aside every month in anticipation of needing a large sum of money every December. The money builds up over the course of the year and by December a large amount of money is available for the purchase of holiday gifts. What a great idea!
But that requires both advanced planning and the willpower to save. I’m good at advanced planning, but I suck at saving. This will have to be addressed in 2012, but since it’s still 2011 I had to come up with another solution.
I decided in August that I was going to do a little bit of Christmas shopping every month in the time leading up to Christmas. The money would come out of my monthly discretionary budget, and I’d only buy one or two gifts a month.
I have to tell you, this strategy worked like a charm. I’m going to do this from now on. Here’s why I love my approach:
1. No December 1st “OMFG, Christmas is 25 days away and I have no gifts and no money to buy them with!” with freak out.
2. I get to spend a decent amount of time thinking carefully about what to buy for each person, as opposed to being rushed at the end of the year and forcing my loved ones to come up with a bunch of silly ideas.
3. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with working on a goal for months. It makes the build-up to Christmas feel exciting as opposed to stressful.