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Why You Should Celebrate Christmas in July

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard a number of ads talking about ‘Christmas in July’ sales and promotions. Some stores are taking it one step further and doing special ‘Black Friday in July’ events.

Of course, no one is actually putting up a tree and decking the halls.  Christmas in July is simply a way for retailers to create a new reason to shop during the lull between 4th of July sales and the back-to-school shopping season.

But the idea of Christmas in July isn’t really so crazy. With just under six months to go before the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to start planning so you don’t overspend when the holidays hit.

Here are a few ways you can turn Christmas in July into a stress free, debt free holiday season.XmasinJuly2

Open a Christmas Club Account — Popular at many credit unions, a Christmas Club account is a short-term savings account designed to help you save money for holiday gifts and celebrations. They generally earn a small amount in interest, but the real benefit is that you won’t be able to withdraw your funds until just before the holidays — usually around November 1 — so you can easily avoid the temptation of using the money for other reasons.

Shop Off-Season Items — No one wants to think about wearing sweaters, boots and warm jackets during the dog days of summer. But those same items will be a hit under the tree on Christmas morning. And you can save big if you buy them now. Though not readily available on store shelves this time of year, closeout sites such as 6pm.com have them in abundance, at a fraction of their original prices. And don’t worry about giving last year’s styles; you’ll be safe if you stick with trend-proof classic cuts in neutral colors.

Have a Yard Sale & Save the Proceeds — It’s the perfect time of year to clear the clutter with a yard sale. Gather clothing, household items, books, toys and anything else you no longer want or use, put up some signs, and sell, sell, sell! You’ll be surprised by how much cash you’ll generate in just a day or two. Just make sure you set the profits aside for holiday shopping – or better yet, deposit them in your Christmas Club account.