Christmas? Did I just utter the word Christmas!? Yes I know, I must be stark raving bonkers…but, well you know…it’s only 85 days left to the big C day.
Oh yes, every year talk about Christmas starts earlier (like now!!!!). While this can be without doubt irksome, the cold hard truth is that planning ahead can help you save money on what is an increasingly expensive time of year, as opposed to last minute panic buying which likes to spank your wallet hard.
And so with that sentiment in mind, here are some tips thinking ahead and saving money for the festivities from loans provider Auto Advance:
Make a list
The best way to combat the cost of Christmas is to plan ahead. This should begin with putting together a list of everything you’ll need for Christmas – we’re talking the whole shebang; gifts, food, and decorations, anything that you need to buy for the festive period. Once you have your list, and you’ve checked it twice (like Santa!), you can start working out how much everything will cost and build up an idea of the budget you need to set to pay for everything.
Doing this earlier allows you to look at costs, look at where you can make simple savings, such as changing where you buy food from for example. There are also a number of other effective tweaks that in the long run can help you cut the cost of Christmas without sacrificing on it being a fantastic time – hurrah!
The most effective way to save money over Christmas and avoid running into potential financial difficulty is to not try to do or buy everything at once (as tempting as it may seem!).
Spread the cost across a few months by buying bits and pieces earlier….yes, we’re talking from now. Cards, presents, wrapping paper, biscuits, boxes of chocolate and alcohol are all things you can buy well in advance and put away until you need them.
Buying in advance means you can spread preparation and cost across several months so it feels less painful. It also provides the added bonus of having less to buy in the inevitable crazy of Christmas shopping.
Another way to cut the cost of Christmas is to make some of usual Christmas necessities yourself. Decorations and wrapping paper can be made simply at home and can be great activities for the kids on rainy winter weekends or Christmas holidays. And of course good old Pinterest is great for inspo when it comes to that.
Simply decorating some brown parcel paper for wrapping paper can personalise a gift slightly more while often being cheaper (and keeps the kiddos busy too!).
Simple decorations made by the kids for example can again help to add an increasingly personal touch and in some cases can make nice additional gifts for grandparents and other family members.
For some serious forward planning, after Christmas looking at what you have left over in terms of unused cards, wrapping paper, etc. If you have the opportunity maybe pick up some of these non-perishable things for next Christmas in January when they are subject to massive reductions – a massive win for you.
Not only does this provide a big saving but it also means there is less to buy and less to worry about the following Christmas (yay!). So not only does this way of planning have the potential to yield long term savings it can also go some way to helping make Christmas a much less stressful time.
How do you try to minimize the financial burden of Christmas? Do you do any of the above? Have you got any other tips to share? If so, please do add to them in a comment below!
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*This is a collaborative post.
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