Its time to start saving for Christmas

As unbelievable as it may be, the time to start saving for Christmas is in fact now upon us. This means we have reached that point in the year again when it would be really rather sensible to start considering the costs involved with the upcoming festive period. Although Christmas is still a number of months away, this time of year for many families costs just as much, if not more, than the amount we spend on our summer holidays and as such the sooner consideration is given to costings; the better. The fact of the matter is over the festive period we all want to enjoy time with our families and friends and in doing so let them know that we care. The process of Christmas therefore is an expensive one for many of us, whether that be the cost of presents, the cost of decorations, time away from home with loved ones or of course; the food. All of these things and their individual costs soon add up and the end result can be a tendency to over-spend. The best possible way to avoid this is to save, budget and plan for the festive period when and wherever it is possible to do so. Many of us struggle with the cost of Christmas because we expect to be able to pay from it out of our normal income and therefore within our normal level of spare income, when in reality, the amount we have available may not actually be enough. So with this in mind it is only sensible to start thinking and planning for Christmas in advance, so as to avoid any extra stress in the build up to the big day. Today then let’s look at how starting your planning now, can avoid Christmas based fall out later!

A great starting point for your Christmas planning is a good old fashioned list. This list can contain all the presents you need to buy, the number of people coming for dinner and the likely meals out you may wish to enjoy over the Festive period. Make sure the list is detailed and also ensure you then list your price expectations alongside each cost. This simple task will quickly give you much needed information concerning the amount of money you believe you will need to spend which can then be realistically compared to the amount you are likely to have available. This list may highlight that you need to make some sensible cut backs to avoid struggling over the Christmas period; which is certainly better known now than as a result of over-spending. The next plan of attack would be to see how and where costs could be reduced within your list. An example could be deciding to put aside a lump sum every month now until Christmas, to effectively ‘top up’ the amount you later have available. Alternatively, another example would be to start Christmas shopping now and in doing so see if there are any deals which are available in-store or online. Visiting one of the many discount code sites may in fact reveal that some gifts would be better purchased now and in doing so reduce the amount which is paid.

For those of us who consider the cost of Christmas to be a little over-whelming, there are other money saving ideas which can be considered. Why not, for example, spend time this year making some gifts and decorations with the children. This could mean creating personalised Christmas Cards or giving photos as presents, both of which are cheap to fund and supplies are available at a whole host of different stores at very little cost. It may be a sensible idea, for the adults of the family, to take part in a secret Santa exercise. Secret Santa means everyone gets one surprise present and they don’t know who sent it. This not only helps to reduce costs on a large scale but also adds back a little bit of the Christmas magic thanks to the surprise element. It is also worth considering that often at Christmas we buy things for our friends and family within a budget rather than being able to buy exactly what they would like, by doing Secret Santa however, there is an opportunity to spend a little more as you are potentially greatly reducing the amount you are spending on Adult gifts in total. Ultimately the key to a successful festive period is always going to be planning and more planning, the sooner you start the easier this Christmas will be.

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Author: Internal Customer Services Agent