Christmas shopping can cause a large amount of stress, especially in this economic time. Take a deep breath – you probably have more resources than you think! Here are five ways to help find some extra money for Christmas.
Use Your Stockpile
Whether you intend to or not, you probably shop all year for Christmas gifts. Before heading out to buy anything, take inventory of possible gifts that you already have. Check any of those “secret” closet spaces where you hide potential presents, and write down what you’ve already purchased.
Don’t forget to take inventory of items around your house that you no longer need or use. If they’re in good enough shape, you may be able to sell them and make some extra cash.
While you’re at it, check your freezer and pantry for stockpiles of food that you can use to make meals for the rest of the month. Make a list of these meals to stay focused, then cut your grocery budget to include only perishables. Use the leftover grocery money for Christmas presents.
Clean Out Your Closets
Now that you’ve taken inventory of items around your house, it’s time to decide what to sell. If there are valuable items on your list that you no longer need or use, consider putting them up for sale on ebay. If the items aren’t so valuable but you can squeeze some money out of them, head over to your city’s online Craig’s List directory and advertise them for sale. Use this extra money to buy presents for people on your list.
Make a List, Check it Twice
The list is very important. Before buying a single item, write down a list of people you’d like to buy gifts for. Then for each person, jot down gift ideas, how much you want to spend, and any gifts you’ve already purchased. This will help limit your possible expenses and narrow your shopping list down quite a bit.
Start Using Coupons
This is the perfect time to begin using coupons. These little slips of paper are free money. Even though saving $1 on a package of toilet paper seems small, coupons can add up fast, saving you a ton of money when shopping.
Coupons are also good for eating at restaurants, going to the movies, and other entertainment. Make it a point to only buy or do things if you have a coupon to help pay for it.
Plastic is easy to use when it comes to spending money, but for some reason, cash is more difficult to part with. After you’ve made your list and set your budget regarding Christmas gifts, withdraw the amount in cash that you intend to spend. Using bills and coins will help keep you and your budget focused, saving you money as you shop!