Having dropped the C word yesterday on twitter (Christmas that is, no naughtiness here) I thought I would follow up and assist my readers by prepping them to be organised and make Christmas run as smoothly and stress free as possible.
Christmas – It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with presents, great food and quality family time. However, it can also be the most expensive time of the year. To truly make your Christmas as extravagant as possible means spending a considerable amount of our well-earned pennies. From stocking up on everyone’s favourite sweet treats to going all out on the decorations… It’s not a cheap time of the year. That’s why it is so important to start planning early. There are less than 100 days until Christmas this year which might sound like ample time but it really isn’t that long at all. Put it this way, that’s less than 15 Fridays… scary right?
You could go about this is three different ways, either save up small amounts all the way up to Christmas then do your shop in December, buy as you go or take out a same day loan from a company such as New Horizons for that last minute shopping spree. You need to decide which option works best for you. You might find it useful to use a budget planner to find out what you can physically afford and go from there. Split up your costs into food, decorations and gifts to enable you to see exactly how much you have to spend. Personally I avoid pay day loans but where people are able to get the money to pay it off fast it can work although costs a fair amount.
Set A Budget With Friends And Family
The last thing you want to do come the New Year is be landed with a large bill because you’ve gone overboard with presents for your loved ones. Although it may be nice to treat the ones you care about at this time of the year, you still need to take your financial circumstances into account. You may have just bought a new home or had to pay a large sum to fix your car or had to replace an expensive appliance. Set that budget to help you manage the funds you have to play with efficiently.
Switch Bank Accounts
Did you know that Banks such as Halifax give you £100 for switching to current account with them? It’s a simple way to earn a little extra cash in time for the festive season and allow you to buy that 12 foot Christmas tree you’ve always wanted.
You will most likely have heard of this crazy event, where online and physical retailers go all out to offer insane deals on items at the end of November. Companies such as Amazon have taken this to a new extreme and hold a week full of sales and bargains for its customers. If you are looking to get something expensive like a game console for someone this year, wait for Black Friday because you may get some great bargains.
The Early Bird Catches The Worm
Not easy to do if you don’t have much storage space but it helps cut stress dramatically. Buy during the year. Look out for special offers etc. you can save loads. As you know, the closer to Christmas you get, the higher the prices, the busier stores get and there is a higher risk what you are after will be sold out. Once the day is over everything is slashed MASSIVELY. Another option for the super organised is to pick out bargains in the January sales ready for next Christmas? It will save you money and take the stress off too.
Sell Unwanted Goods
If you need to build up the cash a little bit quicker in time for buying gifts, why not have a small clear out of your old things and sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace? It will not only clear up room in your home but also add to that fund.
Did you know that Aldi’s Christmas Pudding is one of the highest rated by Which? You don’t have to shop in the most expensive stores to get your food for the festive season. Budget supermarkets are competing with, and in some cases overtaking the larger ones with quality and price. Go down to your local budget store and check out what they have to offer.
Deck The Halls (Cheaply)
Christmas Decorations don’t have to be expensive. Home Bargains and similar discount retailers offer some amazing homeware and decorations for a fraction of the cost. Deck your halls with some beautiful fairy lights, bunting and tinsel without breaking the bank and putting you out of pocket.
If you have a large group of friends or work colleagues you are close to, instead of buying them all separate gifts why not take part in Secret Santa? This way you get to set a budget of £10, pull names out of a hat and you’ll only have to buy one present. Also, secret Santa can be a really good laugh.
Some of the best deals to be had on designer clothes, cookware and gifts are at their outlet stores, There are plenty of locations all around the country where you will be able to find outlet stores and save money buying slightly out of range or discontinued stock. It’s a genius way of saving money while still being able to buy what you want.
Rather than buying a bottle of mulled wine or a batch of mince pies, why not let your culinary expertise out and try to make them yourself? Often making your own treats is cheaper than buying the real thing, plus you have the bonuses of warming up the house and leaving it smelling amazing!
Old School Entertainment
If you and your family like to gather at Christmas day after dinner and play games, then why not go old school. You don’t need to buy games simply play charades. Don’t buy a pack of cards, simply write things down on paper and fold them up, put them in a bowl and you instantly have a fun game without paying a single penny!
Christmas is a time of giving, spending time with family and enjoying great food. It might seem stressful now, but if you take some of these money saving tips on board it will be much easier to organise, and you’ll be able to enjoy everything Christmas has to offer.
Don’t forget although many appreciate gifts friends and family don’t want you getting into debt due to overspending. Be careful and budget and put what you need first ahead of what you want!!!!
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