Moms, before we know it, it will be Christmas!
I am a natural planner and list maker; however, even the most organized person can get overwhelmed this time of year.
As most busy moms know, holidays just don’t happen, we make them happen with blood, sweat, tears and tradition. Okay, also wine, most definitely wine.
I am going to share with you a few tried and true ways you can get through this year’s holiday season ahead of the game and headache-free!
Like any project, focus on your deadline and work your calendar backwards. Keeping a good planner in your purse is essential. Make sure it has enough space for various notes and lists you might need to make on the go. Personally, I like ones with a monthly glimpse and then pages for daily entries.
Budget, Budget, Budget!
Knowing how much money you are comfortable spending for the holidays is key to not suffering from the dreaded January Statement Slump! Mid to late October, I create a spreadsheet that outlines who you have to buy for, what you want to spend, and what you actually spend. This will keep you accountable to your budget and show you your progress. Don’t forget to account for those budget busting items that we all tend to overlook: holiday food items, gift wrap, décor, teacher and office gifts. These can creep up on you and throw your whole budget out of whack if you aren’t careful.
Get the Kids Involved
One of my fondest memories as a little girl is when the Sears Wish Book would come in the mail and my mom would tell my brothers and me to get a marker and put our initial next to the items we wished for Santa to bring. The Wish Book may be long gone, but I still continue this tradition with my kids today. Toys R Us, Target, and Walmart start sending out ads early in November. Get those markers out and let the littles do their thing. You will know what to put on Santa’s list!
Girl… Lists are Your Best Friend
Knowing what you need is just as important as having the funds to buy it. And for me that’s part of the fun. Starting with Thanksgiving, keep a list in your planner of the things you plan on baking or preparing. By picking up a few of those items on each trip to the store during the months of October and early November, you can have it all purchased before the stores get crowded with last- minute shoppers. You can instead treat yourself to a Pumpkin Spice Latte at your favorite coffee shop while you pat yourself on the back for being ahead of the game.
Find Those Deals!
If there is one thing busy moms are good at, its stretching a dollar. So once you have your list made, price check like it’s your job! Compare website pricing, look for coupons and sign up for those emails. You tend to get a big introductory coupon for signing up. Also, if you haven’t already, invest in an Amazon Prime membership. The two -day free shipping is a dream for those of us with small children who can’t make it into the shower, let alone the mall! It’s also extremely helpful if you have family that lives far away because you can direct ship. hey even have a gift wrap option!
Home-Made with LOVE
When thinking of ways to thank your child’s teacher, or your co-workers this holiday season think about getting creative. It’s easier on the budget, and lets them know you put some time and effort into their gift. Places like Hobby Lobby and Michaels tend to have great coupons so you can purchase supplies at a reasonable price.
I hope you find these tips as helpful as I have found them over the years. Please comment and let us know if you have any ideas that you would like to share with your fellow mommas.