MANHATTAN (KSNT) – Though the holiday season is still months away, a Kansas State University extension agent says the time to prepare is now.

Elizabeth Brunscheen-Cartagena weighed in on the topic of Christmas preparations in a press release from the university last week. As one of the busiest times of the year, it can help to have plans in place and shopping out of the way before December rolls around.

“Four months gives us enough time to plan,” Brunscheen-Cartagena said. “By planning, we can avoid over-spending due to the excitement of the season, and thus control our money rather than the season controlling us.”

Brunscheen-Cartagena said people should follow these tips to make their holiday season a little more manageable:

  • Make a budget for gifts – Brunscheen-Cartagena recommends making a list of people you plan to buy gifts for and assign monetary amounts you want to spend. With more than a hundred days before Christmas, this should give you time to start saving money in advance and think about what you want to buy. You can put the money away in envelopes assigned to each person you plan to buy gifts for.
  • Recognize talents – Brunscheen-Cartagena says you should take time to examine what people around you enjoy doing in their free time. If someone enjoys cooking, you can look into buying a cookbook for them along with some dry ingredients.
  • Plan your get-togethers – Brunscheen-Cartagena says you should start planning your family’s holiday get-togethers by deciding on details now. Find out now if you want to plan a gift exchange with the kids and/or adults in your life and begin assigning responsibilities to different groups participating in the get-together.
  • Avoid the last-minute rush – Brunscheen-Cartagena says buying gifts now can save you time and stress. You will also have the opportunity to compare prices between stores and save money.

“Planning for the holidays will save us time, money and energy,” Brunscheen-Cartagena said. “At the same time, it will bring us peace of mind, good relationships and a lot of happiness for us and our loved ones, which is the purpose of the holidays.”

For more financial tips, you can reach out to Brunscheen-Cartagena and the K-State Research and Extension office in Sedgwick County by clicking here or by calling 316-660-0166.