Apologies for being M.I.A. The Christmas season took over me like other Americans. I had numerous holiday events to attend, numerous dinners, spent time shopping online, and spent time roaming the malls looking for last minute ideas for the few white elephant parties I had been invited to. All in all, I am happy that I did not over spend or allow myself to be so exhausted like previous years that I was more stressed than jolly. However, reflecting back on the past few weeks, I decided that I want to be more organized for 2015’s holiday season. After a few quick online studies, I feel mentally prepared to hit my goals next year.
I love giving. I enjoy seeing loved ones smile when receiving surprise gifts. I enjoy receiving a text or email letting me know that they enjoyed the special delivery via U.S. Postal service. This year brought new experiences in my frugal ways during the holiday season:
- Instead of buying items, I think he/she would like, I purchased items that were consumable. The thought of someone needing to return an item because it did not fit or was not wanted, makes me cringe. So, I took a different risk this year. I purchased items that reflected who I am, but would provide energy by being eaten and is something that will not take up space or time and energy to be returned to the store. Items I gave included organic fruit baskets, organic holiday bags filled with goods from Trader Joes, San Francisco’s famous Ghiradelli chocolate, and San Francisco’s famous Boudin breads.
- For the fickle consumer, I gave cash. In my personalized card, I said please buy something nice for yourself.
- I focused on time savers – online shopping. I made quick decisions without looking back. As long as it was budget, I purchased it.
For 2015, I want to focus on the following:
- Buying holiday items NOW. Buying them when they are 10%, 15%, 50%, or even 75% off. I know stores need to clear their inventory.
- Buy throughout the year. This is most important for white elephants and items for children. If there is a good sale, buy it. Store it well!
Most of all, I am going to stick to a true budget. After numerous website visits, I decided that this made sense for me: 1.5% of my income goes towards holiday spending. This includes the ornaments on your trees, the Christmas lights, gifts, and dinners. For example, if your salary is $40,000, try to spend a total of $600.00. If you divide that by 12 months, you should save $50.00 a month. It seems more manageable versus waiting for the end of the year to realize how much you have to dish out! I will report next year to see how this works out! Check out this link below!