Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Countdown to Christmas - June / Getting Started

So, let's get started. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in (given that we didn't start in January.)

~ Make your gift giving list. I keep my lists on an excel spreadsheet so starting the next list is just a matter of renaming the file and some editing.

~ Determine what is going to be bought and what is going to be made. SET A BUDGET / per item / per person.

~ Start setting aside money for things that need to be bought last minute whether that be groceries for Christmas dinner or the morning brunch, travel expenses, or theater tickets for that gift that is an experience instead of a thing.

~ Back date your calendar. If you're going to make a homemade crocheted blanket for the new baby in the family, mark on your calendar how much needs to be done by a certain date in time - Start in June, 1/5 done by the end of July, 1/4 done by the end of August, etc.

~ Plan all the other Christmas (or holiday events), not just the gifts. What day will you set-up the tree? Put it on your calendar. What day will you take down the tree (NOT July 2011)? Put it on your calendar. What about the lights? Do you need to buy new ones this year? Save the money now. What about ornaments; will you craft new ones? Do you have a tree theme? When do the kids get out of school? What days do you need to ship by? Will you be making a new wreath? Will you be donating items to the food bank? To the school? Teacher gifts? Classroom party? And lastly, make time to prepare your end of the year financial paperwork. If you have an employer supplies medical savings account, check in October that you're on track to use up all that money otherwise the company keeps it.