Planning ahead for Christmas

wave home-tree

It’s only the first week in December, but the ever-expanding festive fare is already available in every high street shop and supermarkets, providing a daily reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. Whilst it might still feel too soon for you to begin thinking about your arrangements for the Yuletide season, there are definite benefits to getting your Christmas plans in order nice and early. Here are our top tips to help you get your festive finances in order before you open your first advent calendar window.

  1. Whilst there are always a lot of money choices to make around Christmas, you don’t want to make them all once you’re fully caught up in the festive spirit. Once the tree has been decorated and the carols are being sung, you’re likely to make decisions emotionally rather than rationally, which can easily lead to you overspending without fully considering the consequences. So start by planning your budget now and stick to it.
  2. Coming up with a set amount you and your loved ones will spend on presents for each other is a good way to avoid overspending, but it can cause embarrassment if not everyone sticks to the arrangement. Agreeing your budget early helps to ensure nobody starts their Christmas shopping before knowing the spending limit. Make sure you are not the one breaking the agreement.
  3. It can be all too tempting to put more and more Christmas costs onto a credit card, racking up unnecessary debt that will leave you strapped for funds long into the new year. Take your credit cards out of your wallet now and put them well away to avoid the temptation to spend beyond your limits over Christmas. If you shop online, remove your credit card details from your shopping accounts too – you can always add them back on if necessary in January. It’s amazing that if people pay by cash, the amount they spend often drops dramatically as somehow it feels that it costs more when you pay cash than by card.
  4. Christmas food can be pricey, a fact made even more frustrating when you realise a lot of it is simply the same stuff you can buy all year round wrapped in snowflake-adorned packaging. Stocking up early on the food you’ll need over the festive period makes sure you don’t have to spend more than necessary, as well as preventing you from having to make multiple trips to the supermarket in the busy days leading up to 25th December. Consider doing a meal planner, for the Christmas period and then ensure you’re only buying what you need, not what looks nice on the shelf, but will probably end up in the bin and never used.
  5. Separate the Chores from the Celebration Sure, the holiday hustle and bustle can be very appealing–but who really enjoys a stroll in the mall when they’re burdened by a long gift list and under time pressure? By tending to Christmas chores on the early side, you’re free to jump into an organized Christmas with a happy, unencumbered heart. A long lead-in to the holiday season breaks down the work into small, easy-to-achieve steps. Doing a few chores each week, you’ll be ready to celebrate the season more fully, more joyously–and without the stress that comes from too much to do, to little time to do it. You’ll do less, enjoy it more … with an organized Christmas!

Have a great Christmas………..