Mark our words: 2016 will be the year we finish our Christmas shopping before December 1. According to a recent study, 14 percent of Americans are already working hard on this very thing. Here, their secrets, so when the holiday rush hits, you’ll be sipping Champagne instead of hitting the mall.

RELATED: 6 Ways to Score Shopping Deals When You Left All Your Coupons at Home

make a list
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They Make Gift Lists Starting Now

Sure, it sounds basic, but the first step to organizing your brain is to start a running draft on paper (or in the Notes app on your iPhone) of all the people you’ll need to shop for: your mom, your nanny, your work wife, your UPS guy and so on. This way you're not impulse buying (and splurging) willy-nilly.

listen
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They Listen Attentively to Family and Friends

Now that you’ve got your list, your ears are primed to perk up the next time you chat with anyone who's on it. So your mom keeps going on and on about how much she loves those mini Keurigs, huh? Ding, ding, ding! Gift idea. Add it to your notes on your phone and start looking for sales. 

RELATED: 7 Ways to Be a Better Listener

budget
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They Build a Gift-Giving Line Into Their Fall Budget

Putting off all of your shopping until December is a sure way to incur debt (and fees later on). By adding gift costs to your budget in October and November (and setting up a discretionary savings account that’s dedicated to your Christmas cash flow), you can cut costs in other places. Then when it’s time to shop, you'll stay in the black.

RELATED: 8 Secrets of Genius Savers

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They Know Everyone’s Sizes

If you love giving clothes, it’s much more subtle if you find out your family’s sizes in advance of the holiday rush. (No, it’s not weird to peep your 10-year-old niece’s shoe size when she stops by to trick-or-treat on Halloween.) Once you have all the numbers, it’s just more info to plug into your phone list. (Because sometimes that sale on the perfect gift won't wait for you to text your sister.)

bulk
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They Buy in Bulk

Come December, the holiday party circuit is fierce. Spare yourself one-off trips to the liquor shop for hostess gifts by investing in a case of vino (and a $5 roll of butcher paper to wrap each bottle with). Not only will you save around 10 percent per bottle, but you'll have everything ready to go, stashed in your basement until your social calendar kicks into overdrive.

RELATED: The Best Wine Made in Every Single U.S. State

thanksgiving
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They Consider Thanksgiving Weekend Their Shopping Deadline

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. With a list that’s fully fleshed out, you’re ready for the two biggest days to save. Sure, you could fight the mall crowds—or you could cross everyone off your Christmas list from the comfort of your couch at home. Whatever your preference, it’s all about having a game plan to be in the clear by December 1.

RELATED: 5 Online Shopping Tricks That Will Save You Time and Money

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