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With the May two-four weekend behind them, many Canadians have begun to start looking ahead to their summer holidays. But now is also a good time to talk about a different holiday, the one that usually puts the most stress on your family’s finances. Yup, I’m talking about talking about Christmas in June.
Here are five tips to ensure your next December will be a merry one.
- Have the holiday gift discussion with friends and family now
Chances are, you’re not the only one who would like to avoid some holiday fiscal pain this year. This means now is the perfect time to sit down with friends and family to discuss what you can all do differently this Christmas. For example, rather than everyone buying everyone else a gift next year, discuss doing something different, like a gift exchange or a secret Santa instead.
- Establish a holiday budget and stick to it
Take look at what you spent last year at Christmas so you know how much you need to budget for and save each month to be prepared for next December. Adjust accordingly if you will be buying for less people based on your holiday discussions above.
- Do your holiday shopping throughout the year
While Christmas only comes once a year, who says you can’t think about it more often? Keep your eyes open for that perfect gift all year round. Your loved ones will appreciate a small thoughtful gift bought in July much more than they will another last minute over-priced generic gift basket. (Wow! An assortment of crackers wrapped in cellophane!)
Get ahead of the dreaded office gift exchange this year by suggesting that your workplace focus their efforts on raising money or volunteering their time for a local shelter or hospital instead.
More and more popular these days is giving the gift of time. If you know some young parents, consider gifting them babysitting services for an evening so that they can go out and enjoy a dinner that doesn’t involve Gerbers or a movie that doesn’t include a song by Randy Newman.
It may seem a little out-of-season to be discussing Christmas in June but it can go a long way to helping you and your wallet out next December. Happy Holidays!