Summer holidays and Christmas are almost here, it's always good to have some extra money in your pocket during such an expensive time. Christmas in particular is a really interesting time of year when you think about it - occurring at exactly the same time and day each and every year, we all know December is the season to be jolly. With that being said, Christmas still has an incredible way of creeping up on most of us each year, sending us into a frenzy to get everything ready!
If you're one of many that knows exactly what we're talking about when we say Christmas frenzy then this list may have just arrived in time to save you the stress and some precious cash too!
1. Do a Christmas clean out
Before you hit the shops to rack up a large credit card bill, why not empty out your own closet and see if you come across any unwanted items you might be able to sell so you have some extra money for new gifts. It may sound time consuming, but with Ebay and Gumtree accessible from your mobile phone ,you can have an ad up in minutes, so why not get snapping!
2. Work out your total budget for Christmas
It's easy to overspend and blow your budget at Christmas time. That's why we're suggesting you set yourself a budget which includes all the expenses associated with Christmas. Gifts are not the only items you should be thinking about right now, this is where people generally go wrong - they allocate money for gifts but tend to go over budget because they forget all the other bits and pieces that cost money too - it all adds up. Try to consider things like decorations, a Christmas tree, dinner parties, celebratory drinks, taxis/ Uber rides, new outfits to wear to Christmas parties. It's a lot to think about but it's the best way to set a realistic budget. For example, if you forgot about the cost of cabs to and from the city, then you might need to lower your spending limits on something else.
3. Make a list (and check it twice)
Prepare a list of all the people you need to buy gifts for and allocate a money limit to each of them - write down each limit and stick to it. We don't want you forgetting anyone so we've prepared a dummy list for you to work from.
- Boyfriend/ girlfriend/ husband/ wife
- Mum & Dad
- Brothers and sisters
- In- laws
- Work KK
- Your boss
- Kids school teacher
4. DIY cards and wrapping
Making your own cards and wrapping is a cheaper alternative. Get some friends together and make an afternoon of it!
5. Hunt online for the best deals
Bag a bargain this year, don't just buy the first gift you see. Find what you want to buy and then jump online to make sure you can't find it cheaper somewhere else! Another trick is to search for discount codes floating around online. Sometimes subscribing online will give you a discount on your first purchase, so it might be worth signing up too - then you can just block the emails or unsubscribe after you've used it - cheeky yes, but it works!
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KEY TAKEAWAY: Christmas can be a costly time of year, pre-planning your Christmas spending is the best way to make sure you stay inside the lines with your spending. We're not saying you need to be stingy just be realistic when working out how much you can afford to spend over the busy Christmas period and have fun with it!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not legal or financial advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of the recommendations, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. We encourage you to consult a finance professional before acting on any suggestions provided in this article or on this website.