Only six weeks until Christmas: Planning ahead can save your bank account and sanity.
• Decide who is on your list. This would be the ideal time to ask family members if they would like to donate to a charity or pick names instead of exchanging multiple gifts. Gift exchanges work best when spending limits are enforced.
• Score your list. Determine a gifting scale. For example, decide for gift recipients in Category A, you will have a spending limit of $50, those in Category B will be $25, etc. Adjust the scale as you lock in your budget.
• Plan to get crafty. Pinterest offers a multitude of ideas. Be sure to use coupons for Michael’s, JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby to keep your costs down. Schedule sufficient time to complete the craft.
• Enforce your calendar. December is full of extra events, making it essential to get your calendar managed before you lose your holiday cheer. Mark the days you will decorate, visit an out-of-town relative, send out holiday cards, wrap presents, etc. Avoid overloading your calendar with needless events. Take more time to enjoy the holidays.
• Look for a service project to help others. Get the whole family involved. The experience will remind people of all ages what the holiday season is really about.
Black Friday updates
Bed Bath and Beyond: Arrive between 6 a.m. and noon to receive a 20 percent off coupon that is good all day on Black Friday.
Sears: Opens at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and stays open until 10 p.m. on Black Friday.
Walmart.com: Offers “ultimate online specials” starting now.
Wal-Mart has lowered its Christmas Layaway opening fee from $15 to $5. Customers will receive a refund of the $5 fee, as a Walmart gift card, when they make their final payment.
Read the Deal Diva’s blog on MomsCharlotte.com for continuous updates on Black Friday deals.