Remember how crowded the stores were in December? Remember the lines? Remember the traffic? It will all be the same this December. You can avoid all of that and save tons of money at the same time.
While wrapping presents in December, my wife commented that she started buying those presents in January. On a legal pad, she had written what she had bought for each person, how much she had paid, and what the regular price would have been. On average, she had saved 75%.
The result was she had been shopping at stores that were not crowded, where sales personnel could give her more attention, and where the stress level was lower. She saved money through buying on sale, and as a result, was able to give everyone better presents!
How to do it…
Ideas for gifts will present themselves at the most unexpected times. So will great buys on gifts. Whether you organize with paper or organize digitally, the keys are knowing what you have bought, what ideas for gifts remain, and a place to house both in your system.
If you use a paper planner, devote a page in the back for each of your goals or projects. In this section of your planner, label a page “Christmas Gifts.” Down the page, list the names of family and friends for whom you plan to buy. Leave several blank lines between names. Your list may spill over to the back of the page or even onto a second or third page.
As gift ideas occur to you, immediately flip to that page and jot them down under the correct name. When you purchase a gift, make a notation beside the gift.If your planning system is digital, use this same idea with a tool such as Evernote (Evernote.com). Create a note named “Christmas Gifts” and include the same information we mentioned.
If your planning system is digital, use this same idea with a tool such as Evernote (Evernote.com). Create a note named “Christmas Gifts” and include the same information we mentioned.You also need a trigger that occasionally forces you to look at that page and evaluate where you stand. Create a task which repeats each month and says something like, “Examine Christmas Gift List.” This simple trigger will
You also need a trigger that occasionally forces you to look at that page and evaluate where you stand. Create a task which repeats each month and says something like, “Examine Christmas Gift List.” This simple trigger will ensure that once a month, you at least glance at the list of people for whom you have ideas, who has nothing on their list, who has gifts bought, and which gifts you want to make a concerted effort to secure during the next month.
When an idea comes to mind, you need to be able to find the list quickly and add your ideas. Use your smartphone’s search feature to find “Christmas Gifts,” and you are instantly looking at the information.
Last December, you wished you had started earlier. Well…earlier is now, so get started and make this Christmas merrier and less stressful.
JohnnnyJanuary 17, 2012 7:32 am
I 100% agree. My wife and I are subscribing to this philosophy more and more every year. We already have a few presents for next year.
Just so I don’t forget what’s in a wrapped present, each one gets a code written on the to/from label. The legend for the codes is written on a page in my monthly planner.
Storm BunnyJanuary 17, 2012 9:07 am
This is a wonderful idea! Should also work for other gift-giving ocasions, such as birthdays, and anyother, depending on the cultural customs. I’m going paper this year, so I guess that’s the option I’ll go with.
Thank you for yet again such a wonderful idea!
Dr. Frank BuckJanuary 17, 2012 11:26 am
Thanks for the feedback. Great idea, because wrapping a presenting and then remembering what it is and who it’s for months later could be a challenge!
My wife and I wait until December to actually wrap the presents (and handle it all in a couple of sittings), but your idea is a lifesaver for those who wrap as they buy.
Dr. Frank BuckJanuary 17, 2012 11:30 am
Always good to hear from you! Hope this works for you.