I’m going to duck and cover after you read the title of this post, because I know thinking about Christmas/Hanukkah already is stressful and exhausting.
I get it.
That my friends, is why I’m going to give you three super simple things you can do now, to make the holidays a little bit easier on you. You don’t want an easy holiday season? Then move on past this post and call it a day.
But if you don’t hate yourself, read on.
1) Homemade Vanilla Extract
Few things are so freaking simple,delicious, and a joy to give than homemade vanilla extract. I started making this wayyyyyy back in 2010, and every year people ask for it before the holiday gifting time even starts.
The key to a great extract is to start now, so you can wow your friends in December.
2) Holiday Budget
If you haven’t already started saving for the holidays, now is the time to start. Figure out the total amount you want to spend this year, and then divide that amount by how many more paychecks you’ll receive between now and the holidays. You can either have that amount automatically transferred to a checking account, or take it out in cash and stash it somewhere.
After the holidays, add up your receipts and evaluate if your spending was appropriate, too much, not enough, etc. Then, finalize the number you want to spend for next Christmas, and divide by the number of paychecks you have before the holidays. The number per paycheck will be much smaller, so the sting will be easier to soothe.
How does Swagbucks work? You install the toolbar as your search engine, and whenever you want to go to a website, you simply type it in to the toolbar. Rather that type in www.beingfrugalbychoice.com, I’d type in “Frugal by Choice” to the search bar. It will display a list of results (my page at the top since I search for it so often), and then you simply click on it. It’s just like Google, but it pays you back in “swagbucks“.
Randomly you will earn “swagbucks” for searches. You never know when they’re coming, and you don’t get them for every search. But, a few bucks here and there adds up, and once you get to 450 “swagbucks“, you can turn it in for a $5 Amazon giftcard (or another card of your choice).
I save my Swagbucks throughout the year for Christmas presents, and I just used a bunch I have stored up to buy Jack’s lunchbox and lunchbag for school. Jack has a really nice bento box and bag and I didn’t spend a dime of my money. Win win.
Now, spend 10 minutes on the above three items, and then promptly stick your head in the sand for the next four months and pretend that the holidays are not coming.