This may seem like light-years from now (we are just trying to make it to the weekend, right?), but if you are anything like us, the holiday season can be an expensive and hectic time of year. This year, we have decided to start prepping for Christmas now! No, we don’t recommend baking Christmas cookies this weekend or hauling the boxes (and boxes!) of Christmas décor out of the attic, but you can start checking names off of your list and putting away some cash.
Make your Christmas list now. Every year I tell myself I WILLL NOT wait until Thanksgiving to start making my Christmas list. We all have those on our list we will no doubt buy for–kids, parents, grandparents and teachers, just to name a few. Throughout the year, you are constantly hearing your kids (or spouse) say I would really like to have _________. Stop and write it down. Right then. Don’t wait. I am a paper and pencil list makin’ kind of girl, but using the notes section of your phone is a great option too.
Gift cards. At our house, gift cards are always the first to get “frozen” during the white elephant gift exchange. I can already count on the fact I will be asked to bring a “girl gift” and “guy gift” to two of our family gatherings. If I make those gift card purchases now, my monthly budget will barely notice rather than waiting until the night before the gift exchange when I am already strapped for cash for the month. There are user friendly sites that offer gift cards at a reduced rate. For example, Kelli has had luck using www.giftcardrescue.com. Our sponsors at Commerce Bank offer a great gift card option as well with their Commerce Bank Visa gift cards. Not only can the card recipient pick out exactly what they want, the card is accepted anywhere Visa is accepted, and is a safer option than cash. If the card is stolen or misplaced, the unspent amount may be replaced. You may purchase the card online by clicking here or stop by your local Commerce Bank branch.
Social media. I admit it. I spend way too much time on social media. Make sure you are following your favorite stores and keep an eye out for discounts, promotions and coupons. You will be the first to know about great deals and you can snag up Christmas gifts at the best possible prices.
Commerce Bank mySpending Card. We can all agree, setting a budget and sticking to it is always a good idea when it comes to Christmas spending. The Commerce Bank mySpending card™ will allow you to do just that. The mySpending card is a reloadable prepaid Visa card that you can use anywhere a Visa card is accepted (including online!) and at your local Commerce Bank ATM. If you start contributing to the mySpending card on a monthly basis now, you will have a nice savings when it comes time to do the majority of your shopping. You can purchase the card online by clicking here or stop by your local Commerce Bank branch.
New traditions. I love Christmas, but it is exhausting (have you seen the movie 4 Christmases? That is me with 2 small children.). However, the older I get the more I appreciate the craziness of the season. If you don’t already have traditions in place, I would encourage you to start thinking of something you would like to do now and make plans before the busy season sneaks up on you. For example, my mom and I always take time for an overnight shopping trip to Branson. Our goal is to finish all of our shopping. That rarely happens, but we always get to spend at least 24, kid-free, hours together giggling, treating ourselves to yummy food, sprinting around town shopping and drinking too much coffee. We also stay the night with family on Christmas eve. My grown brothers and husband stay up way too late playing silly video games and after a couple hours of sleep wake everyone up to open presents then we head to my grandma’s to have breakfast with my entire family. I am learning to grab an extra large cup of coffee and embrace this season. I would encourage you to do the same.
We hope this December is filled with late nights on the couch watching Christmas movies and drinking hot chocolate with your family rather than last minute online shopping and stressing about January’s credit card bill.
Merry Christmas in July, mommas!