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The kids are back in school, there’s still warmth in the air and you even have a bit of time before picking out Halloween costumes. Is it really a good idea to start thinking of Christmas? The answer is yes. Early gift shopping is a great way to choose memorable gifts, and you’ll start the new year happier when you’re not carrying debt from the holidays. Here’s why early Christmas shopping will brighten your holiday season, and help you avoid overspending during the holidays.
When you’re free of time pressure, gift shopping can be a genuine pleasure. You can stop and think about what each person truly wants, and enjoy the luxury of shopping from the entire world online. Does someone you know love opal jewelry? You can mail order stunning opals from Australia, and not have to worry about a three-week shipping delay. Is there a young person in your life who dreams of becoming a veterinarian? You have time to go to your local animal clinic and pre-arrange a day in January when the child can go and observe the doctor at work. Gifts of special experiences aren’t even a possibility if you shop by hitting the mall on a hectic December evening.
Early Christmas shopping spares you from the splurges that result from last-minute exhaustion — but it also offers another bonus for your financial health: Holiday expenses will be spread out through your October and November budgets, allowing you to avoid holiday debt. By spending money ahead of time, you will save more of your December resources for the fun extras that give holidays a special spark. Your family will be delighted if you treat them to an unexpected dinner out or an excursion to a special concert during the busy Christmas week.
Doing things in a rush is always more expensive: You don’t have time to buy more tape and ribbon, so you hand over money at the gift-wrapping counter. You can’t find free parking close to your destination, so you pay a premium to park in a private lot. You choose a mail-order gift so close to the holiday that only second-day air shipping will get it there on time. And that’s not even taking into account the meals out and late payment fees that can bite into your hectic holiday whirl.
Ready to tackle your holiday shopping list? Here is an easy way to create and stick to your holiday budget.