I know we just got out of the holidays and talking about how to make next Christmas easier to deal with is just too much to handle. But let me tell you about a few things I did last year that made this Christmas a lot easier to deal with.

Piggy Bank Savings - Male

1. Save $100 a month – Or whatever you feel you can. I put away at least $50 each paycheck in 2018 and sometimes $100, and a couple of times a little more than that. It all added up to not having to use any money out of my normal December paycheck to buy anything holiday related. It’s a pain, but totally worth it.

Gift Boxes

2. Do gift exchange drawings earlier in the year – My family does our gift exchange drawing at the beginning of October so everyone can start looking for gifts. It’s easier to get things out of the way, but you have to….

Confused mature tourist holding a map

3. Remember where you put gifts you buy early - I turned a closet in my spare bedroom into nothing but shelves and that's where I put all my Christmas decorations and gifts I buy early. Use the top of your closet in your bedroom or just buy gift cards a little at a time throughout the year so you spread out the financial hit on your wallet.

Friends at Dinner Party

4. Get together with your friends - There is nothing worse than trying to buy a little something for your circle of friends. First, it can get pretty expensive, and second, you have enough to deal with just buying for your family! Get everyone together either at the very beginning of December before all the crazy holiday stuff sets in or have a mid-January get together to put a cap on the holidays. Make it potluck so that no one is responsible for the whole party and just toast to not having to buy each other presents and enjoying each other's company.

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