Monday, September 29, 2008

Christmas Spending Tips

It's now less than 100 days before Christmas. For some, including us, a big part of their bonuses will surely go to holiday expenses.

I am not in the position to give saving tips for the Holiday Season because based on my initial forecast (excel file) , i might be spending 32% of it for the expenses mentioned below. I will try to lower it down but I am finding a hard time to do it.

Anyway, below are the things that we can consider during the holidays:

1. List, List and List.
- all the people that you want to give gifts.
- what would you like to give them - money, wrapped gifts or both.
- all the parties that you may need to attend to.
- all the contributions and potlucks that these parties may incur.
- the forecasted prices of the exchange gifts that may be required to these parties.
- the amount you need to give the carolers - adults and kids.
- the amount you'll give to the security guards, carbage collectors, messengers, etc.
- your budget for the noche buena and meda noche.

2. Budget
- list down all sources of income you'll have before the holiday like bonuses, business, sidelines, etc.
- set aside 10% or more (whatever your heart desires) for tithes.
- limit item1 to less than 50% of you total income. The lower the better.
- Save the remaining either for emergency fund and/or investments.

3. Shop Early
- Prices tends to go up when holiday goes nearer.

4. Take advantage of the Bazaars
- You'll find good finds here in cheaper prices.
- You can even haggle if you buy by bulk.
- For us, we're always looking forward to St. James Bazaar.
- Some Bazaar Schedules can be seen here:

Enjoy Holiday Shopping but ensure that you'll still be Money Smart!

Did I mention that the picture above is our actual Christmas Tree. It is only 3 feet tall and have been using it for 3 years now. I decided to change the color of the decors but still didn't spend that much. The balls, ribbons and shaped decors cost less than 300php.

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