Buy holiday gifts without breaking the bank…

Studies indicate that consumers are starting their holiday shopping in the fall. More and more shoppers are doing their holiday shopping in advance to reduce the amount of stress (both financial and emotional). For consumers with a biweekly pay schedule, like us, this November and December will only provide 4 paychecks for holiday shopping and we will also need to pay the bills during this time.

With the current economy most people are finding themselves living more paycheck to paycheck and with only 4 paychecks that doesn’t amount to much money for that holiday shopping after all the bills are paid.

If you are barely scraping by as it is don’t despair! You don’t even need resort to maxing out those credit cards to do the holiday shopping! Simply buying some of those holiday gifts sooner can ease the financial stress, save on credit card interest and buy you more time to get it all done but you have to act fast! There are only 63 days till Christmas!

If you spread out the financial burden of that holiday shopping over as many more weeks as possible you’ll be much better off! So, you want to try an get your holiday shopping started sooner? Wondering exactly when you should start? Each person will have different needs. I recommend setting a holiday shopping budget.

Gather information to realize your budget-

What have you spent in the past? How much will you be okay with spending this year? Once you come up with that amount you can figure out how many paychecks you will have to do your holiday shopping. How much does that come out to per paycheck? How much of your paycheck goes to bills? Is it a reasonable amount per check?

You can also decide how much you can comfortably spend per paycheck on the holiday gifts and divide that amount by the total amount you plan to spend for holiday gifts. This will tell you how many paychecks you will need and that will tell you how soon you need to begin your holiday shopping.

Early holiday shopping has its perks-

Another great reason to do the holiday shopping earlier is the availability of products and the prices. Remember when those coveted holiday items were out of stock when you needed them last holiday season? You can avoid that whole mess this year is you plan ahead! Also, chances are you can get a better deal during the 10 months of non-holiday shopping than you would be able to get in the 2 months of the holiday shopping rush.

Doing the holiday shopping earlier can also buy you much more time to decide what you want to buy and it lets you be more creative!

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

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