The second way to save by planning ahead is to use a Year Long Gift Budget and shopping when you find items on sale.
Here is what I do – I record each month any holidays in which I will need to purchase gifts for. See this 20 Day Budget Boot Camp Gift Budget Spread Sheet that I currently have customized for our families gift budget for 2017. You can click on this, and change and modify it for your own gift needs throughout the year. Some of them will be the same for you as it is for me, such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and other holidays. But areas where I have family birthdays, you just delete mine, and insert who and what month you need a birthday gift for. I left a completely open area for Christmas since that can be just so completely different from family to family.
Our family right now spends around $1000 a year in gifts. I shop all year long for gifts. Whenever I find a great deal on Amazon for example, I check out my gift budget spread sheet and see if the deal I found could be used for any of the gifts we need to get. If so, then I buy early and store it until its time to give it. When you buy early, you are sure to find items on sale and not have to pay full price. If that is not possible, and you just want to give a gift card for a wedding shower for example, then you can record that and plan on it – and see what other holidays and events you can save money on a less expensive gift item. It takes away the stress of last minute shopping. You can get the benefits of “retail therapy” for an “impulse deal” that really serves a purpose. PLUS, I find gifts that are cheap, therefore saving money!
CLICK ON THIS** 20 Day Budget Boot Camp Gift Budget Spread Sheet, modify it, and start using it for yourself!