​The holiday season is upon us, Christmas just 40 days away. But have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

It’s no secret that Starting Christmas Shopping Early Could Save Your Money and Your time. Some retailers are getting a jump start, stocking shelves with holiday displays.

Before I offer tips and tricks for completing Christmas shopping earlier this year, I’d like to elaborate on one idea I mentioned above – focusing on getting ready for Thanksgiving. For me, setting this holiday weekend as my deadline to finish Christmas shopping is not only crucial to my enjoyment of the holiday season, but it gives me a tangible goal. Your shopping expiration date is necessary for the rest of the tips to work properly. So mark the date in your calendar, set weekly reminders, and do anything to stick with it.

With that basic step in mind, here are the five best tips on how to finish the gift and dust off early this year.

Tip # 1: budget ahead so you can get shopping ahead

I do not intend to recommend that you start shopping next year, but I suggest that you develop a budget plan in January to ensure that you have enough money to start shopping. In September.

One of the reasons I’m so behind in my shopping year is because I don’t have enough money to finish all of this work early and have to wait until my mid-december salary to buy most of my gifts. Of course, I realize this can be avoided with some advanced budgeting.

Autumn is an expensive time of year. Back to school supplies, fall wardrobe upgrades and pumpkin spice latte all add up quickly, so use the intuitive budget app to make sure you’re ahead of the game and get yourself ahead. Calculate how much you want to spend on gifts, install your choice of app on your smartphone, make a savings plan, and stick to it! Plus, if your goal is to save your Christmas shopping funds by early September, you’ll be able to take advantage of back-to-school sales!

Tip # 2: make your wish Christmas wish list as early as possible

Do an early Christmas shopping wish list and check twice

Have you ever noticed that the shopping you left at the last minute is usually the hardest person to buy? For one reason, I had to run out of presents for my dad, sister-in-law and brother on Christmas Eve – I never knew what to do!

Fortunately, I have a solution to this problem: use an online wish list. In early September, send an email to all your friends and family who are planning to buy a gift and invite each of them to make an online Christmas wish list. Let them know your goal is to finish your shopping early this year, and you want to make sure you get what they really like.

Once they’ve made the lists, you can scroll through them and find things that catch your eye (and match your pre-determined budget). When you decide which gift to buy for each person, compile a list so you can cross it at shopping. Stop speculating about games or the idea of destroying your brain’s creative gift!

Tip # 3: do your early Christmas online shopping

Early Christmas day shopping avoids the mall crowd and goes out shopping

To be honest, shopping is really not my business; If you enjoy navigating through crowds and carrying heavy luggage from store to store, feel free to ignore this tip. In my experience, people who like shopping are usually not the ones who need motivation to finish Christmas shopping early.

With online shopping, you can bypass the shopping center and save a lot of time. In addition, it’s very simple to search for the exact content you’re looking for without having to walk through town to track items in the store. And if you order a bunch of gifts from a one-stop shopping site like amazon, you get free shipping.

Tip # 4: schedule shopping ahead and often

Unless you set aside time in your schedule to finish your Christmas shopping, you probably won’t. Even if you plan to take the above advice and online shopping, I still recommend that you schedule time in your calendar to complete it.

Starting in September, spend an hour a week on your calendar, or put yourself down in front of the computer, or head to the shopping center to get as much done as possible. Use your main list (you know, this is the one you did for everyone’s wish list project) and cross over at any time. You knew it was done before!

Tip #5: DIY Christmas presents start early than Halloween

I used to be notorious for having all these noble aspirations of DIY Christmas presents, but just didn’t have time to get them done before the holidays. But now, I have a system. I plan to launch my DIY project in June so I can take advantage of the leisurely summer to get the jump stuff. This year, I’ve gotten a head start on my country recycled wood DIY gifts, and they look great!

For each DIY gift you plan to make, set a real (and generous) schedule from beginning to end. This way, you can actually enjoy the process without rushing. After all, you don’t want to pull a DIY almighty on Christmas Eve.

Bonus tip: reduce Christmas shopping by throwing secret Santa gift exchange

Sometimes, Christmas shopping can be overwhelming – even if you do skip it early. For me, the last few christmases have been financially stressful. Buying gifts for everyone in a family like mine isn’t easy on the wallet, and all shopping is an important time commitment.

Early Christmas presents shopping

So many gifts, so little time

If you can get in touch, my advice is to have a secret Santa gift exchange this year instead of a traditional gift. You can even spice things up with a super fun white elephant exchange! Either way, everyone just needs to buy a gift and they can spend the money on what people really want and need.

Once you’re sure everyone has the idea, start your gift exchange with an online secret Santa generator. This nifty tool will assign secret Santa, help you send email invitations, and set spending limits so that all your family members are on the same page. Who knows, this could be your new Christmas tradition!

The most important thing about Christmas shopping is that the true spirit of Christmas does not come from the store. It’s the magic of Christmas to be happy, festive and at the same time to spend quality time with loved ones. After all, this is the best gift you can give – and certainly not buy.

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