Friday, September 27, 2013

12 Ways to Trim Your Holiday Budget, Now

At the top of my list of most annoying things (up there with a box full of hangers and a stack of unfiled paperwork) sits this: stores that decorate for Christmas before Columbus has even had his day. The colored lights, faux foil icicles and red-velvet Santas summon my inner Scrooge. Christmas? Already? I’m not falling for your trick this time, big-box store. You’re not going to lure me into spending early, thus spending more. Oh, no, no, no.

This year, I’m going to turn early holiday shopping on its head by using the extra time to find ways to save on my November-through-December purchases by planning for them in advance.

Typically, around 10 days before Christmas, you’ll find my Amazon shopping cart at maximum capacity and someone at American Express laughing menacingly at the huge load I just put on my card. How long will it take her to pay that off this time? (Insert evil laugh.)

Nope, this year, I win. No budget-busting surprises. No January credit-card remorse. No last-minute gift buying or Martha Stewart-worthy (read: expensive) entertaining. This year I’ll have it under control because this year, I’m starting my holiday planning now.

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