bad for your heatlh budgeting budgeting money budgeting money for Christmas children Christmas credit cards debt Holiday Shopping Making a list and checking it twice Money Mondays presents

My Naughty and Nice List

Happy Money Monday!  Here on My Pocketful of Thoughts, Monday’s are reserved for all things money-like.  If you stopped by here this past Wednesday, you read in the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway post that I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping.  If you have small children on your list you should check out the post later and enter to win one of their toys.  Today, I’ll begin to share my planning process with you.

photo credit: armadillo444 via photopin cc

How to start planning your holiday shopping:  

First, make your list of who you want to purchase gifts for.  To start your list, just grab a piece of paper and pencil in the people you think you might have to get gifts for and in pen write everyone you know you are definitely getting gifts for.  Every year my list is modified, but for the most part it remains the same.  My parents, boyfriend, nieces and nephews, my closest friends and on occasion someone new.  I say to pencil in potential people to buy gifts for because these are the people you’re on the fence about.  Maybe you’ve never gotten them a gift in the past but perhaps over the year you’ve gotten closer.  It’s better to have an extra gift or two than to not have anything at all.  

Next is to put together a BUDGET.  Most people do not do this.  For years I did not budget and I would charge my gifts to my credit card and in January I would have this crazy bill.  Please avoid this.  It is bad for your credit health.  While it is the holiday season, you do NOT have to go overboard.  Most people are on a budget this year and are not expecting extravagant gifts.  If you think someone on your list might be expecting a grand gift, than I would suggest having a conversation with them early to let them know you’d like to set a price limit.  One year I was on a super tight budget; I asked my friends if we could share a meal together instead of exchanging gifts. Spending quality time and making memories with loved ones is priceless.

How to plan your budget: 

photo credit: 401(K) 2012 via photopin cc
  1. In pen, write next to each person’s name the max dollar amount you wish to spend.  
  2. In the corner of the paper, write down the amount you wish to spend total on holiday gifts. 
  3. Take the amount you wish to spend total and divide it by the number of months you have left until the holiday season starts.  
  4. If the number you get after dividing it into a monthly goal to save for is too large and not feasible within your current income, then reverse engineer your thinking.  
  5. If I can afford to put aside $50 a month, starting in January than I can spend $600 on gifts.  If I started saving this month, that changes my budget to $100 total.  I would then erase the people I wrote in pencil and reduce the amount spent on each person.  

If you could, I would suggest having your money squared away before Black Friday, so you can snag the crazy deals!  
Lastly, Take your pencil and write in potential gifts in your budget range for the people on your list.  To save money I suggest thinking of a theme for your holiday shopping.  If I have a handful of ladies on my list, I might think of buying luxury lotion from Bath and Body, there I might score a deal of Buy 2 get 1 free.  This may allow you to be a little more generous than your budget would have normally allowed.

    This is what I do to start planning for the holiday season.  I also carry the list around with me in my wallet, so I can jot down ideas throughout the year.  How do you start planning your holiday shopping?

    Until then,
    If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.    Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!      
    Join the My Pocketful of Thoughts community by giving a LIKE to the FB Page! Just hit like and feel free to share it with lovely like minded people by hitting send below.

    Join in on the conversation, click here to get started.

    children Christmas facebook giveaway holidays Melissa and Doug toys the charming Beeposh Elvis stuffed animal toys

    Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway

    Today is such an exciting day for so many reasons!  I was going to tell you weeks ago about how I was almost finished with my Christmas shopping but I thought instead I’d explain my process of getting things done before the holiday season is upon us.  Then on Saturday I got my Starbucks in a holiday cup and in another store they were playing Christmas music and I realized that I never did the post. (Gasp!)  SO to make it up to you I’m sharing today the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List and Giveaway.  It started yesterday but there’s still 19 days left of giveaways! YAY!

    photo credit: 20 Days of Terrific Twenty via Melissa & Doug

    If you’re shocked to realize that the holidays are right around the corner, don’t fret.  If you’re not familiar with Melissa & Doug, they started making toys over 24 years ago in Doug’s childhood home.  They’ve grown so much since then that they have their own space.  Inspiring, right?  Their philosophy is simple -‘to make each and every customer a happy and permanent member of the Melissa & Doug family, while offering products with tremendous value, quality and design’.  While I have been looking for the perfect gifts for the smaller kids on my list, I realized that I’m looking for products just like the ones that Melissa & Doug have been making for years.

    Photo Credit: Melissa & Doug

    The list for their giveaway compiles the “best of the best” holiday gifts for the 2012 holiday season, and they’re excited to share it here with you! AND To celebrate, they’re having a 20 Days of Terrific Twenty Giveaway on their Facebook page! Every day (started yesterday, November 6) they’ll be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list to at least one of their lucky Facebook fans!

    Today, Day 2 of the giveaway, is one of my favorite toys, the charming Beeposh Elvis stuffed animal! How cute is this guy?  And has the name Elvis in it to boot for all us Elvis fans.

    What do you have to do to get in on the giveaway?

    To enter to win a gift every day from the Terrific Twenty list head over to their FACEBOOK page, LIKE it, and find today’s post with the giveaway and follow the directions!

    What are you waiting for go check out what you can win! Click here!  Good Luck!

    Until then,

    PS. If you like what you’ve read, warm my heart and follow the blog!  Likes are great for those who don’t want to comment.  Just go to right side panel, look for FOLLOWERS and click Join This Site!
    Join the My Pocketful of Thoughts community by giving a LIKE to the FB Page! Just hit like and feel free to share it with lovely like minded people by hitting share.

    Join in on the conversation, click here to get started.


    happy new years :)

    happy new year 2010

    Happy New Year’s! 2010 is finally here and I’ve managed to escape from my nieces and nephew for a few to write this.  I worked last on the the 23rd and do not have to return until the 4th and silly me volunteered herself to watch her niece and nephew.  While I love them dearly, i feel mentally and physically exhausted.  I give props to all the full time parents out there who take care of their children all day.  Its only been six-ish days and I feel like I’ve lost my mind and wish I would have gone on vacation with my friend to New Orleans.  I take this week as a valued lesson that children don’t like to be told what to do anymore than adults do and to keep your sanity compromise is a MUST.  I feel like I’m practicing law with all the negotiations I’ve done this week.  I’m laughing as I write this, because I’m usually the first to say I’d never let my kids get away with half the stuff i see other parents do, and I quickly changed my thoughts on that.  Sunday I’ll be able to sit down and write down some of my new year’s resolutions, as they do not leave until Saturday…I think I hear them coming…until tomorrow!  In the meantime, let me know some of your strategies with dealing with children and keeping your sanity!  I need a nap!

    Until then,