Start Christmas shopping in September

- Fall begins soon  So what time is it? It's time to save for Christmas.  Already? Yes.

Over Labor Day I say the same thing each year, 'Folks it's almost Christmas.' I know you have to trick or treat and there's Thanksgiving yet, but I'm telling you between gift buying and saving money for it, you should start now.

I'm not alone in saying this. Twenty percent of us have already started Christmas shopping. By Halloween, that number is up already to 40 percent of folks shopping for holiday gifts.  Here are the advantages.  You can create a budget.  You're less likely to overspend if you have a budget. Then you can get a list going.  Because you're going to start so early, you can do a cost comparison.

Now let's say you spend $500 for Christmas shopping. If you save just more than $35 a week now, starting this week, you'll have it.  But you need to start this week.

So my $35 this week is already committed to a savings jar. Starting holiday shopping now also allows you to get involved with layaway programs.  It gives you plenty of time to pay for that purchase you have been held for you.

Starting now also relieves you of that last-minute stress, so you can enjoy the time seeing friends, going to parties, taking some time off from work, and reflecting on the season.

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