I think Pinterest is becoming my place for Holiday Recipes. (lol)

This is perfect for those on Santa’s “naughty list”. I just might want to be on the naughty list to get me some of this. ;-)

 

How to Make:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 10.5 ounce bag mini marshmallows
  • 1/8 tsp. black icing color (not icing)
  • 4 cups rice cereal

In a large pot melt butter and add marshmallows. Stir until melted, add black color and mix in well. Add rice cereal and stir until blended. Drop by small spoonfuls onto parchment or wax paper. Be sure they are in odd, lumpy shapes. Cool. Place in a small cellophane bag and tie with ribbon.

You could add a poem about being on Santa’s naughty list, like this one:

    “I heard you’ve been naughty not nice,
    Santa even checked his list twice.
    So all you’re getting from the North Pole
    Is this old, lumpy bag of coal.”

Happy Baking!

 
 

Continuing on with searching for “Christmas” in search engines (see Searching Christmas post), here are the results for Bing.

2. Christmas.com

50. Merry Christmas – Games

100. Christmas History

If you do your own search, please feel free to share them with us. Depending on where you live, you may come up with different results.

Please NOTE: Before checking out these sites I recommend that you have your pop-up blocker turned on and your virus scanner up-to-date, just in case. I don’t endorse these sites, these are just what I found using search engines.

 
 

It’s time to take a lesson from our childhood and use that amazing savings tool –
a PIGGY BANK.

Put all your loose change throughout the year in your piggy bank (jar, tin, any container will work) then just before it’s time to Christmas shop, roll it up, take it to the bank, and shop. (This works especially well in countries where they have $1 and $2 coins.)

Quick & easy savings. Happy Saving!

 
 

As mentioned last week, I’ll be searching “Christmas” in various search engines and recording the results (2nd, 50th, and 100th place, #1 is always Wikipedia Christmas, which I previously posted about, here).

Here’s the results with Ask.com:

2. Christmas.com

50. A British Christmas

100. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in many Languages

If you do your own search, please feel free to share them with us. Depending on where you live, you may come up with different results.

Please NOTE: Before checking out these sites I recommend that you have your pop-up blocker turned on and your virus scanner up-to-date, just in case. I don’t endorse these sites, these are just what I found using search engines.

 
 

Use GIFT CARDS as a savings account, it’s quick and convenient – only downside there is no interest.

When you’re at a store, grab a gift card, reloadable ones are great because you can add to them whenever. Perhaps you just put $10 on it, then the next time you go you add another $10. If you can’t get a reloadable one perhaps a $10 or $25 card every time. (You’ll have a stack of cards, but at least you won’t have to worry).

Department store cards are good because you get a variety items there (ie gifts, party supplies, decorations). Grocery store cards are good too since you always need to buy food for the holidays.

Keep the gift card(s) in a safe place (and remember where ;-)) until it’s time for Christmas shopping. Then you don’t have to worry if you have money for shopping because you saved over the year.

Happy Saving!

 
 

piggy bank
One way to start saving for the holidays is to open a SPECIAL BANK ACCOUNT specifically for Christmas. You could even have a portion of your pay directly deposited into the account, so you don’t spend what you don’t see. ;-) Here’s a few options I found.

  • Christmas Club – If your bank has them and they suit your needs you can open a Christmas Club account. Be sure to check about interest rates and an extra fees which they might add – it’s not a savings account if you’re not saving. ;-)
  • Tax Free Savings Accounts (Only in Canada – pity) – You must be 18 or over to open a TFSA. All income earned and withdrawals from a TFSA are generally tax-free. Plus, having a TFSA does not impact federal benefits and credits. It’s a great way to save for short and long-term goals.
  • Savings Account – if the above options are not available to you, perhaps a simple savings account would do the trick. Shop around and see which financial institution offers the highest interest rate. Make sure the fees are reasonable, since you’ll be mainly making deposits – withdrawals will only happen near Christmas.

Check with your financial institution to see what they offer and what is right for you. Happy Saving!

 
 

With just a little over 4 months to go before the Big Day, we need to have some sort of financial plan in place. Unless, of course, you don’t have to worry about money. ;-)

Money is generally tight come December (with all the parties, extra food, visitors, visiting, and gifts), but it doesn’t have to be. I’m usually not very good at budgeting and planning, but over the last few years, I’ve noticed that when I had a budget in place I had peace of mind. Now I didn’t always follow the budget (almost always overspent), but at least I knew that I had a plan and that if things started to fall apart I had a back up.
elf list

So, I guess my first Holiday Savings tip is to . . .

BUDGET!

If you’ve never made a Christmas budget before this is what I do:

  • Take a piece of paper and divide it into 3 columns (a bigger one and 2 smaller ones).
  • Label the big column Expenses, the next column Price, and the third column Actual.
  • Next, make a list of everything you need to buy for the holidays – gifts, baking, parties (from napkins and decorations), Christmas cards and stamps, gas for all those long-distance relatives you have to visit, everything you spend for Christmas. Put these under the Expenses column (one line per item).
  • Record how much it will cost in the Price column. If you don’t know the cost, just estimate it for now.
  • Add up the Price column and that is your working budget for the holidays.
  • As you shop and spend money, record the actual cost in the Actual column.

Congratulations you now have your first Christmas budget! I keep my budget in my Christmas Notebook at the back of my lists section (my general to do and cleaning lists are at the front), so it’s easy for me to flip to. Once you’ve done this a couple of times, you’ll basically know what you need, financially, every year and can start saving earlier in the year.

 

 
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