No matter what time of year it is, you can start preparing for Christmas so that when December comes back around, you’re ready mentally, emotionally and financially.
While they can’t help with your awkward relatives, Creditfix can help you with budgeting and planning for the festive season, so head on over there for tips and advice before you really get going.
Here’s the best tips for all-year-round Christmas preps.
Start saving now
Even if it’s literally a tenner a week, if you start in March or April, you’ll have almost £400 by December without even breaking a sweat! By putting the money into a savings account, you might even earn a few extra pounds in interest by the end of the year.
Look for presents all year round
You don’t have to have a mad rush in November, you can start gathering stocking fillers and bigger presents any time you want, as long as they won’t be dated and useless by December 25! If you see a jumper you know someone will love, bag it! If your favourite aunt loves glass animals, keep your eyes peeled for them even in the summer so that you can tick her off your list.
Buy your wrapping paper and tags in the January sales
Hopefully you’ve already done this, but if you haven’t, then make sure it’s on your to-do list for next Christmas. Paper, tags and ribbons can cost quite a bit when they’re all added up, so if you can get it all on the cheap, you’ll have saved at least £20. When you’ve found that glass skunk for Auntie Sybil, you can wrap it up safely, even if it’s July.
Make a list and adhere to it
One of the problems many of us face when it comes to staying within budget at Christmas is making extra, or impulse, purchases when we’re shopping. We just can’t resist little trinkets and treats because we know that our friends will love them. However, unless you’re getting these little extras for free or for a few pence, you’re spending too much. Create a presents list with the maximum number of items per person on and when you have those items, cross the person off and consider them catered for. This prevents you from panic-buying at the last minute or grabbing unnecessary things just because.
An early start means you can save on shipping
We’ve all been there, paying for a premium delivery service because it’s December 22 and we’re running out of time. By ordering gifts in October or even earlier, you can choose the cheapest – or even the free – delivery option, which can save you a few pounds per item.
Build up your loyalty points
Make sure that your loyalty cards are always with you when you’re shopping so that by November you’ve got a decent balance on one or two of them. When Christmas is looming, you can use your points balances on a few last-minute gifts or even (gasp) on yourself without going over your budget.