Monday, October 10, 2011

It's coming....

The holiday season is upon us. Halloween leads into Thanksgiving which leads to Christmas and then New Year's. Is your budget ready for it? Now is the time to start planning the next few months from a budgetary perspective. Some things to think about:
Halloween candy- What are you going to give to the trick-or-treaters? Can you start picking up some candy every week depending on what's on sale and what coupons are out there?

Halloween costumes- What are you and your kids going to be? Do you already have some costumes stored away that can be re-used or reconfigured to make something else? See my thrifty Halloween ideas post from last year for some low-cost costume ideas as well as other tips.

Holiday food- Are there certain packaged foods that you always buy during the holidays or are there certain ingredients you always need for baking or other holiday entertaining? Start buying them now, as you see them on sale or have a coupon. Of course, make sure they won't expire before you need them!

Holiday cleaning and organizing- This might not be a specifically thrifty tip, but can help save you some stress. Take stock of the current status of your house. Are there any cleaning, repair, or organizing projects you want to get done before you start hosting people over the holidays? Make a list and start now.

Gifts- If you will need to purchase gifts for friends and family, begin developing your list and budget. Start purchasing now to spread the cost over a couple months and so that you don't feel stressed and rushed come December. If you see some great hostess gifts, buy them and keep until you need them. Just make sure to keep track of what you've bought so you don't forget you have it.

Travel- Airfare is usually pretty high during the holidays, but you can find some deals by traveling on off days, on the holiday itself, or moving your trip to before or after the holiday. Spend some time experimenting on travel sites such as Orbitz and Kayak to see what you can find. And make sure you get your tickets far enough ahead of time to avoid paying more.

And if you bought holiday decorations on sale after last year's holidays, don't forget to get them out!

Anything else you've already done to prepare for the holidays?

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