Holiday Expenses Hit You Hard?

It's September! Do you know what that means? Let the Christmas Shopping begin! Yes, sir. I start shopping for the holidays right about now. There is so much family to buy for, along with two birthdays, that I try to start as early as possible so I don't get hit by huge bills all at once.

I already am done shopping for my 1 year old nephew - who turns 2 in November. I bought him a CurlyQ Cutie and That's Not My Monster by Fiona Watt for his birthday. For Christmas he is getting a Svan Scooter. I also already ordered gifts for my brother-in-laws - just waiting for them to arrive. But that still leaves me a lot of stuff to buy. So here is how I survive the holiday season, when it is so easy to swipe your credit card with only huge bills to show for it.

1. When buying gifts for the holiday, it's best to be like Santa Claus - write a list and check it twice! Honestly, I have a list that I update as gift ideas come to mind. And then when I shop for the person, I cross their name off.

2. Also, stick to a budget. My husband and I decide how much we are spending ahead of time per person. We do $25 per person, other than our moms and kids.

3. If money is tight, consider asking family members and friends with kids if you can just exchange gifts for the kids. We no longer purchase gifts for my sister and her husband, or my sister-in-law and her husband. We simply exchange gifts for the kids. So, yes I am shopping for three kids. But I don't have to buy for three adults. And honestly, watching adults open gifts has gotten really old to me. I much prefer watching kids see what Santa delivered than watch a 21 or 30 year old open an XBox game greedily.

4. Finally, remember to compare prices! I like to check ads and use a comparative shopping website like

At you can search and compare prices from must-have toys that are being sold at leading merchants, like Target, Amazon and Toys "R" Us. Plus, you can use the forum to ask and answer questions about those products, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you're looking for.

For example, the Bugsby Reading System is a hot product right now. I see that I can either purchase the Bugsby right now for $29.99 (with one book) or $39.99 (with two books). Considering that each book is over $10 - the $39.99 is definitely a steal! And I would only have found out about it at, since the Bugsby Bundle is available at JCPenneys - definitely not my number one place to shop for kids toys.

So ... are you going to start your holiday shopping soon and what tips do you have to survive the bite from your wallet?


This is solely the opinion of the Mom Buzz. And don't forget to enter my other hot contests so you can win and try buzzworthy products!