Christmas is a stressful time of year. There are so many expenses around that time of year and it can be a big financial burden. I love buying presents for people and cannot wait to give it to them. But, there are so many people to buy for and it can be hard financially to get presents for all the people you want to without going over budget or into debt.
I started my Christmas shopping in May. By end of August I am honestly about 75% done.
Here are some tips to make it more manageable and not as stressful:
- Make a list of every person you need to shop for, also take into account teacher gifts, gifts for friends, secret Santa exchanges you may be involved in, kids friends, etc. Maybe have two or three extra versatile gifts for any last minute presents you may need or hostess gifts you might require.
- Make a budget for every person you need to shop for and stick to it. Then you know up front how much you are going to spend and can start to make adjustments for it. It also gives you a realistic expectation of how many you can buy for and what you should budget.
- Try to spread it out. Start buying presents as early as you can so the spending doesn’t spike in November and December but is gradual throughout the year, or at the very least throughout the Fall.
Finally, my number one tip… HOST A PARTY!! Think of the people you have to shop for, what they have in common and if you could get them similar or even the same things. There are so many independent consultants now selling multiple products, Discovery Toys, Thirty-One Gifts, Jamberry Nail Wraps, Pampered Chef, Epicure, Scentsy, etc.
For example, if you have a lot of children to buy presents for, Discovery Toys is a perfect idea. There are a lot of educational toys that you can get and the rewards for hosting a party are the highest of any party I have ever seen. Thirty-One gifts has bags (for men and women), storage bins, thermal bags, totes, etc. You get the idea, pretty much every company has so many options for products you can get and I am sure you can find products for most of the people on your list.
A lot of consultants will even host online Facebook parties so you do not have to leave your couch! Honestly, at this moment I am participating in three Jamberry nail parties. I participate in I think one Facebook party a week.
Some of the benefits of hosting a party: Every company has different rewards, but in general as long as you meet the $200 minimum of product sales you get free products, usually at least one 50% item, discounted items or money to put towards other items, as well as exclusive items only available for those who host.
Some of the benefits to participating in a Facebook party: You get to learn about new products and company’s that you previously may not have known of. You are supporting a friend of yours who is hosting the party, either morally by participating or by buying products and helping them get free stuff. Usually in each party there are opportunities to win things like free shipping, 10% off, buy 3 get 1 free, etc. They are also great opportunities to win free things, which you can also use as presents or add-ons, or just a bonus for you!
I cannot stress enough how effective these parties are at helping you get organized for Christmas. I have received so many free products by participating in and hosting parties in the past few months. Plus, they can be really fun! Some consultants make the parties so engaging that you keep checking in every hour throughout the party and they make it really enjoyable.
I know consultants all across Canada for the above listed companies so if you are interested in a party and need to be hooked up with a consultant let me know and I can point you in the right direction (no I am not making anything off this post, I am just passionate about it and have a lot of friends who are consultants). I also think it is important to support fellow moms and people in our community, everyone is trying to make a living and do what is best for their family so I would much rather support a friend buy buying products through her then a big chain store.
Lastly, let’s say you have a budget of $50 for Katie, you decide to get her a thermal tote worth $50, but, because of the hostess benefits it only ends up costing you $25, it still counts as $50! It does not mean you need to go back out and find something to spend $25 on to spend the whole budget. If you get an item on sale, discounted, as a free product, whatever, that is called smart shopping, pat yourself on the back and praise yourself about all the money you saved.
Have you ever participated in an at-home or online party? Which are your favourite companies and products?