Christmas is a time for catching up with family and friends, overindulging and underestimating just how long it takes to get all those Christmas decorations up! Start planning your Christmas budget early to make sure you’re organised. Having a plan in place early will also ensure you know how much you will be spending and how much you will need to save.
Below are 7 tips to avoiding the Christmas budget hangover:
Work out your budget
The first step to avoiding a Christmas budget hangover is working out what you can afford. Once you have an overall budget you can decide how you want to split your budget up. A good place to start is with gifts, grocery shopping, and your travel costs if you’re not hosting.
Earn some extra cash
If Christmas is at your house this year, you’re most likely doing a big clean up in preparation. Clear space by finding things around the house you no longer use or need and sell them online. Facebook marketplace, Gumtree and eBay are all user friendly and can be a fast way to make some extra cash and declutter your house. Anything you find that you can’t sell, you can always give away to charity to spread the Christmas cheer early.
Make a list and check it twice
Make a list of everyone you need to buy a gift for and write down how much you’d like to spend on each person (it’s a good idea to agree on a budget between loved ones or even start a Kris Kringle amongst extended family). If you have any ideas for gifts, write them down to avoid last minute panic bought gifts. If you find yourself scrabbling to complete your shopping – DIY vouchers for things like a home cooked meal or free gardening labour make great gifts.
Plan your menu
Plan out your menu and entertaining supplies. Make a list of everything you want to make and what you will need to buy to make everything. Don’t forget to add the cost of drinks. Buy what you can early and store it away to make your pre-Christmas shop as small as possible. Share the work around by asking your family and friends to bring something along
Creative Christmas cards
Get creative with the Christmas cards you send out. Think about recording a video message, or sending out e-Cards to family and friends. If you’d like to stick to the traditional cards, try hand delivering where possible.
Keep track of what you are spending
Track your spending to make sure you’re on track. Apps like TrackMySpend are amazingly convenient for this. It’s also a great habit to take into the New Year to rework your budget.
Shop in the sales
When all your Christmas celebrations are over for the year – take the opportunity to go shopping in the sales and put things aside for next year. There are many great sales around that will set you up with decorations for years to come.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Blenkhorn Financial Planners!