By Crystal Arriaga

Summer is ending. That means school has commenced, the Marine Corps Ball dress ideas are on our minds, football season started and the holiday season will soon be here. Forget Boss’s Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving, there are only six paydays until Black Friday. Now what? If you only have one paycheck how do you make it stretch to plan for the holidays?

On December 26th I confidently say, “I’m going to put away money every paycheck to plan ahead and have all my shopping done before the end of the summer!” It never happens. Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” That’s pretty funny but it’s true. If Einstein were here today I bet he’d use Pinterest to save money and make all of his gifts. That way he’d avoid the wild banshee fights on Black Friday morning and on Christmas Eve.

Consider these tips for a semi-sane end of the year. Plan, recon, compare, repeat!

Prep before you shop:
Make a list with your husband of who you both want to shop for. What would you like to get them and how much it will be? Consider if you’re traveling, this list may be extremely short considering travel costs and that’s okay. Your family understands travel costs and would rather you visit during the holidays versus giving them a gift. Remember that homemade gifts are the hottest trend right now! Check out Pinterest, then get to crafting!

Sit down, set an overall budget now and stick to it! After completing the budget, divide it and see how much you can spend on each person. If it’s not much per person, your cousins’ dog can do without a gift so your mother-in-law gets a better gift. Will you buy a gift per paycheck or save up for Black Friday? If you do this now you can save and budget for it throughout the remainder of the year.

Agree ahead of time to try not to use credit to buy gifts if you can’t afford them. You don’t want to still be paying off this Christmas next Christmas. Remember to spend only what you’ve allotted in your budget.

Recon, compare and research ahead of time! During Black Friday some stores do have amazing deals but some have the same “deal” prices as regular prices. Look online and in stores ahead of time to compare prices and plan to shop multiple stores to get the best deals!

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Military Press

The Military Press was created to serve the men and women of our military community; the active duty, retired, our veterans, DoD workers and their families.

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