We all do it. By the time December begins, we realise how much we need to spend on Christmas. We manage it somehow, but in January we’re faced with paying off the credit card.
There are better ways of doing it, though, and allthelenders have some strategies you could follow to prepare for Christmas.
1. Spread the Cost
We don’t like thinking about Christmas too soon, but it does make things easier if you can spread the cost throughout the year. This can be buying presents or easily storable food early, especially taking advantage of sales and other offers throughout the year.
Perhaps the best approach, though, is to put away what you can each month in a savings account, or else join a saving scheme.
2. Make a List and a Budget
If you have a list of presents and provisions well in advance, you’ll have a good idea of how much you need to save. It doesn’t have to be exact, but at least decide who you want to buy presents for and roughly how much you intend to spend on each. Where you have specific items in mind, get an approximate price to factor into your budget, even if it changes before you buy.
If the total looks too scary, you have plenty of time to think about ways to reduce it.
3. Be Reasonable About Your Present List
You don’t need to buy expensive presents for everyone you know. You could, for instance, suggest a Secret Santa scheme among your friends, or agree to buy token presents with a price limit.
Even for close family, a present that will be loved is better than one that costs a lot. Handmade gifts can be very special, while very young children are more likely to appreciate several cheaper presents than a few expensive ones.
4. Shop Around
Whether you’re shopping for presents or food, the price will probably vary between different outlets. Online shopping can often be substantially cheaper than High Street shops, and if you’ve started planning early enough you can take advantage of sales.
Remember too that expensive brands aren’t necessarily better than cheap ones. Sometimes they are, but often you’re just paying for the name.
5. Prepare in Case You Need to Borrow
If you plan ahead well, you should have enough to cover your costs. No plan is ever perfect, though, and if you think you might need a short-term loan to cover a short-fall, contact us well in advance so you’ll know what to do.