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Holidays are enjoyable, but can become expensive if you aren't aware of the amount of money you are spending.  It's great to have precious time with friends, relatives, and loved ones, and not be buried in debt when it's all over.  Do you want to have special memorable times during the holidays, but want to do things a little bit different this year? Well, this year you can.  However, it will mean preparing ahead, adjusting your routine, and choosing to give up a few conveniences.  However, it will be well worth it.  Below are some money saving ideas and tips that can assist you in making your holidays a little cheaper and more brighter.

Relaxed Holiday Dinners
Do without formal holiday dinners, and have an evening of appetizers, movies, and board games. Have everyone pitch in by bringing their favorite hors d‘oeuvres, drinks, games, and movies. What a great way to have fellowship, food, and fun without hurting your budget.

Shop Early for Discounts
Look for airline tickets and rental cars bargains early. Use discount websites like,,, or Plan early in order to get the best price and deals.  

An Organized List
Organize your shopping. Come up with a shopping list using a spreadsheet. Have the person's name, gift, and the budgeted cost. Also, be sure to have who, what, where, and how you plan to locate the present, and how much it will cost.  Stay focused. By using an organized shopping list, you will discover that your holiday time will be more thought-out and less frantic as previous ones.  

The Envelope System
Put the money that you intend to spend on each individual into different envelopes. When you buy a gift, the money will come from a particular envelope until it’s gone.

After Christmas Shopping
After Christmas you find the best sales. Instead of paying full price for gifts before Christmas, go shopping the day after Christmas.  You can save anywhere from 50-75% less for the items you want.

You really can enjoy the holidays and save money, too. The secret, plan, prepare, and get organized in advance. You will take pleasure in knowing you did not spend yourself into financial ruin.

Sharman Lawson a columnist on Fabulously40, and a financial coach, speaker, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Visit her website: [Link Removed]

Sharmanl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Sep 21, 2008
    • I am all for a debt free Christmas.  I have already started my shopping and so far....I’ve gotten very good deals.  My plans are to be done by November 30th.  This is going to be a great Christmas.......we haven’t had a very good one in years.  And I will be shopping after Christmas for those very deep cut deals for the next year.  Whoohoo!!!

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