How To Afford Christmas
There are pros and cons to using lay-away for me anyway. I went this route a couple of years ago. If you are organized, know exactly what each person wants and can start early enough this is a great way to go and you don’t have to have a large chunk of money to spend all at once. You purchase your items, you have a place to keep them (the store), and then make payments until time is up or you have the full amount covered, right before Christmas. This is not really good for people like me who like to buy right up till Christmas so I end up spending more money on top of the lay-away items and I have kids who change their minds at the last minute. I also noticed that the stores don’t have everything you want to buy if you start too early.
BLACK FRIDAY (and Thursday too)
This is for the young at heart, those with a ton of energy and a lot of patience. You really need to be in the right mind set too! You may even have to fight….the crowds that is. However, if you have strength of mind you can make out like a bandit and spend a lot less! I have done this and I will do it again! It is tiring, can be nail biting, hot, uncomfortable, but for just a couple of hours in your life to save hundreds of dollars I think it is worth it. There are some stores I won’t do again. Toys R Us is one of them. Two years ago I got there an hour and a half before it opened to find a pretty big line already had formed. I could deal with that but what I had a hard time with was by the time I got into the store there were no carriages left. Fortunately I not only had my arms but my brother went with me for moral support and so I had his arms too. I know – you are thinking what a great brother. You are right! Had he not been there I wouldn’t have been able to get all the great deals I did get. The other thing about the store was that it was small so the check-out line literally had to wrap around through the isles making it hard for those who were still shopping. I prefer to go to the bigger department stores that seem to have the space and staff to make shopping on this stressful day a little more bearable.
A little Black Friday Humor
You can find some very low cost items on e-bay that are brand new in the box items. Your timing has to be right though and if the item is in demand (some people actually shop black Friday – get those hard to get gifts at amazing prices and then sell them to the highest bidder right before Christmas) you will have to pay an arm and a leg. I did that one year and made a couple hundred dollars. Is it worth it to do this to sell the items on e-bay? To some it might just be worth it. What was nice about doing this was that it gave you some extra money right before Christmas for those last minute presents or for after Christmas to pay down credit cards. As far as buying items at a good price on e-bay I have to question purchasing electronic items. I did get burned on one purchase that didn’t work, however, I bought a used iPod for my son and it worked out great!
This may surprise some of you but for the last 2 years when that last minute expensive gift came up or I was holding out to get a great deal that didn’t pan out I have turned to QVC. What is nice about this is you get the item up front and then pay a little each month until you pay it off completely. They call this Easy Pay and, true to its title, it makes paying a lot easier! Last year I was able to get a PlayStation 3 bundle for $350 with 6 monthly payments of $60 per month. I could afford the item this way but could have never afforded it handing over $350 at once. Some great deals can be found on the site too at www.qvc.com.
I hope this article has been of help to some of you who are looking to find ways to afford Christmas. Good luck to you and Happy Holidays!!!!