Saving Money for Christmas: Planning and Execution
When Christmas rolls around many people get caught short handed. They do not plan. And then they feel obligated to buy gifts for everyone they know, sometimes expensive gifts. They do not notice the debts they are piling up, for they are hypnotized by the atmosphere of the season. So, for many, Christmas spells financial wreckage. To avoid this, you need a plan, a budget if you will.
First, decide how much in total you are prepared to spend on Christmas. Then make three columns on a spreadsheet or legal pad. The first column lists gifts that are the most expensive. Ordinarily, these are gifts to family and significant others, perhaps a fiancÃ©. The second column is for friends and lists gifts that are significantly less than the first column, and in the last column, you will list business associates and acquaintances and you will send them a nice card.
Put Your Christmas Plan into Action
Do not wait until two weeks before Christmas to fill out your list. Start as early in the year as possible. Every time you go shopping take your list along and buy gifts that are on sale and that are on your list. Avoid getting sidetracked. This way, you are not rushed into buying and you can leisurely look for sales. Also, do not charge your purchases. Pay cash. How do you get the extra cash? Or, how do you replace the cash you spend? You earn it with a Christmas job.
There are many opportunities for employment during the Christmas holidays. The first and most obvious way of making extra money is to do a Santa for Hire. Walk in any large department store or hotel and ask to speak with the manager. Then, tell the manager that you would love the privilege of being Santa for the store. After they do a background check to make sure you are not a felon, a pedophile or a thief, you may be hired. Management will furnish your red suit, your white beard and your portly stomach. If you want some tips on how to behave as Santa, go to your local library and check out videos on Santa. This is virtually cost free. If you can supply your own Santa outfit, you could rent yourself for C Christmas parties and meet children and their parents in their home or neighborhood party. Santa can also visit via email and Scype. You can set up a taxi service with Santa as the Driver. Don't forget that Santa needs his helpers too, so the hotel or department store may have need of gnomes, faeries and elves. Your family can play these parts. Some have conveyer belts that belch out toys, bicycles, skates, musical instruments. If you really get caught up in the spirit of Santa, you can cultivate a white beard, grow your stomach and get a certificate from a Santa School in Michigan. Really, I do not kid you. You can also put on little skits for the neighborhood. You can play Scrooge and have your son play Tiny Tim. You can plan and rehearse your parts all year long so you will have a polished performance when Christmas comes. At any rate, the point is that you can involve your whole family in this enterprise. You could organize a Caroling Group and negotiate a fee for providing caroling for families and civic groups.
Making Money for Christmas: From Christmas Cards to Pumpkin Pie
You have strategies for making Christmas money right in front of you. What about the recipe for the perfect pumpkin pie or eggnog? You could sell booklets of the family recipes. What about that way of cooking turkey so that it is moist and flavorful and not dry as a desert wind.
If you are taking a trip, you can drive there as Santa and take others with you for a fee. And here is a high end idea. If you have talent as a fashion designer, you can design Christmas dresses and ackets that are one-of-a-kind to be worn to Christmas parties. These dresses and jackets could make quite a hit and the financial reward may surprise you. But for ordinary folks, you can always sell Christmas trees. This will place you close to the public and give you an idea of the Christmas spirit in your area. Know your trees well so that you can lead the customer to exactly what he wants. If you are a teacher you can teach an extra course during the year and save this money for Christmas. You should plan the adjunct teaching so that the money is available just before Christmas. This is your reward. It works out as a no brainer, for fall semester of most college sessions ends just before the Christmas holidays.
You can also write for professionals. Some in internet marketing write between 1000-2000 words per day and they often will pay a writer to write essays for them on a specified topic. This is a way to pick up quick money. If you like teaching and literature, you can offer a non-credit class on Christmas Stories, featuring works like O'Henry's The Gift of the Magi and a delightful story by Mary E. Wilkins on a spiritual apparition that comes to dinner during the holidays. You can, of course, convert some of your understanding of the stories into skits which you and your family can enact. Charge a few. Folks are generous during Christmas.
Check your IRS reportage. The government may owe you money. Some tax preparation businesses like H.R. Block will cut you a check for the balance Uncle Sam owes you. The agency will collect from Uncle Sam, but they will pay you up front.
Also check out unclaimed funds in your area. You may have a few hundred to a few thousand in an unclaimed funds account and the money is just waiting for you to claim it.
The main advice is to keep your imagination working. Christmas offers great opportunities for making extra cash. Don't go into debt over Christmas. Make it work for you and invite the elves to help you. They will, you know