We all know how stressful Christmas can be when you find it hard to budget, you don’t plan your gifts out and you find it tricky to set keep to your goal. We all panic we haven’t bought enough for the kids and we all forget that one person who drops in on Christmas Eve with a gift for you unexpectedly! Here are my 5 tips on how to budget without really noticing you’re doing it!
Save a bit each month
Each month, most of us know how much money we have coming in (and going straight back out again!) so why not take a small portion of what you have ‘spare’ each pay day and pop it into a separate bank account or savings account. Just think how quickly you could save some decent present money over 12 months. Even if you save only £10 a month, that’s still £120 by the time December comes around and will make all the difference when you need it to!
Buy presents as you go along
While your shopping for a birthday in mid-April or a new house present in September, grab an extra little something while you’re at the shops or even better, on a 3 for 2 promotion, and pop it away ready for November time. That way you’ll have made a start on the Christmas gifts before you know it and any unexpected occasions are already covered too!
Be realistic about your budget
Set a budget and stick to it. Start by working out how many people you are buying for and how much you can realistically afford to spend per person. I usually budget £20 per person and £50 for our kids. I also tend to make up hampers for adult couples in the family as it’s low cost and so much easier than figuring out what everyone would like individually!
Only buy the food you need
One major mistake people make is buying too much food! We are all guilty of it. I overbuy so now I use the ‘leftovers’ for New Year’s so it means I don’t have to shop again in between! Work out which days over the festive period you are actually home for and buy accordingly. There’s no use buying food for Christmas Day dinner if you’re at your mum’s house all day! Remember it’s only really 3 days and you will still have a normal food shop budget that week to get extra bits with so don’t go overboard.
Make a list
A really important thing for me is to make a list. You gotta love a list! I write lists about lists but never has this been handier than when your stood in the shops trying to decide what to get everyone! If you arm yourself with a list of people, gifts and shops, you are far more likely to come away from Christmas present shopping with everything you need! Don’t forget the wrapping paper! Make it fun, not a chore!
So, I hope you have found my tips useful, what can you do to budget for Christmas?