Christmas is almost around the corner. If you want to survive the holiday season without sapping your bank account, now is the time to start planning. The number one rule for spending money is this: Have a plan, but don’t just have a plan – stick to it!
Draw up a budget
If you’ve read my blog before then you know that I swear by the budget, this time you’ll need two. One for gifts and the other for consumables (food, drinks, crackers, etc.)
Make sure you have enough food, with some in reserve for unexpected guests. But don’t buy every two-for-one special and then end up with wastage. I’ll say it again, stick to your budget!
Make a concise list of people that you need to buy gifts for and what you want to buy them. Don’t walk around the day before Christmas feeling guilty and end up buying more stuff for more people.
The gift cupboard
Once you have the list of gifts that need buying, keep it in your wallet and start crossing items off the list every time you go shopping. Then lock the gifts away in your newly appointed “gift cupboard”. Prices go up at Christmas, so order now and pay in advance. Then pick up the stuff a few days before the festivities and you will save on those mark-ups.
You should try to buy items when they are on special throughout the year and lock them away in your gift cupboard. It really does work out cheaper in the long run (and can save you in the event of a forgotten birthday!).
Instead of buying inordinate decorations that get hauled out once a year, get the family together to make them. A dead tree branch and tin of spray paint can become a Christmas tree. Glue glitter onto ping pong balls and you have baubles. Plant it in a container and cover the container in beautiful wrapping paper. Not only have you created a Christmas tree… you’ve created memories!
Go shopping after Christmas
This sounds a bit strange at first, but you can pick up some amazing bargains and start stocking the gift cupboard for the next year. All the shops try to clear their Christmas stock before the new year, which means significant markdowns on their post-Christmas stock. This also works well if you have been on leave and would like to take gifts to your colleagues when you return to work.
Ideas from: How to survive Christmas