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November/December 2008: TEN Tips for Saving Time and Money this Holiday Season

  1. Plan ahead. Make a list and check it twice! Jot down what you need to do (bake, shop, send cards). Then take your calendar and write down when you are going to do each activity. This will help you plan out your time realistically and avoid last minute stress and panic.
  2. Shop early. Taking your time to find the right gift at the right price is better than a last minute purchase which is way over your budget. We’ve all done that!
  3. Cut corners. It’s okay to take some shortcuts. I have created a list of all my family, friends and clients on the computer and so all I have to do is print out labels when sending cards. It takes a lot less time than addressing each envelope by hand.
  4. Make a budget and stick to it. Decide what you will spend on food, cards, gifts etc. in advance and that way you will avoid being in debt in January!
  5. It’s the thought that counts. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on gifts, cards and wrapping. If you do find a great gift at a steal – buy a few as you may need some last minute hostess gifts.
  6. Don’t skimp on the important things. Make sure to have lots of food on hand.
  7. Accept help. When people come over for dinner and offer to bring something – say yes. You don’t have to do all the work yourself! The same goes for decorating or card writing. Get your family involved and delegate.
  8. Make appointments today! Remember right before the holidays is a busy time for a lot of businesses. Avoid disappointment and pick up the phone and call your hairdresser, handyman, carpet cleaner today! I have already booked my carpet cleaner for mid-December. I booked it weeks ago!
  9. Plan some down time. Too much running around can leave you feeling tired. Plan to have a cup of tea with a friend or book a massage or pedicure.
  10. Don’t strive for perfection. Focus on family and friends and having fun. Nobody cares if it’s not perfect. They will care if you are frazzled. Pat yourself on the back for all you have accomplished and don’t dwell on the few things you didn’t get around to.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful holiday! Hope you share lots of happy times with family and friends and remember to think of those less fortunate than yourself!