With less than 100 days to go, people are already talking about Christmas, and when you have a lot to do and a lot to buy, to be honest, it’s never too early to start thinking about it. Unless you’re one of those super-organised people who start getting ready for Christmas in January, you might not have thought about the holiday season just yet. However, with some careful planning and having it on your radar, you can save lots of money, get the best deals and make sure you have the best, stress-free Christmas ever.
While it’s just around the corner, there’s still plenty of time to start budgeting and get ahead. First of all, start planning, what are you doing this year? Are you travelling? Hosting? Are you doing three big full-on family meals in one day? Have a think about all the possibilities and discuss the options with your family. If you have small children, you really need to set realistic expectations about what you’re doing for Christmas.
If you are going away for Christmas or you’re having your Christmas Dinner out at a restaurant or hotel, then you need to book early so that you actually get a reservation and you might get a great deal as well. If you’re travelling, book your tickets now, look around for offers because you’re booking in advance, and if you can travel on Christmas day, you’ll find you’ll get a really good deal as many people don’t want to do that.
When you have your plan in place, then it’s time to start budgeting. How much will everything cost? What do you budget for your immediate family’s presents? Who else do you need to buy gifts for this year? Do you or your partner get a Christmas bonus? Think about items like plane or travel tickets, accommodation, food costs and presents. Also, make sure that you consider any extras. What extras do you have to do for the season? Do you have a birthday party in the middle of Christmas week? Do you have to put pets in the kennels for the week? Pay a house sitter? Or just take the kids out and entertain them while they’re off school.
Make The Most Of Deals
Now you know your budget, you know how much you’re going to spend and what you need to spend it on, you can keep an eye out for good deals, you can plan your spending and spread out the cost. Know where you can get points for shopping at specific stores, where you can use coupons, voucher codes and register for newsletters to find out about sales. Black Friday will be coming up again before Christmas so see if you can plan ahead for that and get some good deals then, check out deals websites and make the most of things like this cheap Xbox One on Latest Deals.
Spread It Out
You know what you have to get so plan to buy one big thing or shop at one significant place each fortnight. Buy the non-perishable foods this fortnight, and the drinks the next fortnight. The following one for the kids’ gifts; the following one, your gift… or your family’s gifts; and so, each subsequent payday, you can tick a part of your plan off. The closer to Christmas you get, the more perishable the items can be. This can work in with your baking, crafting and posting plans as well.
Make Extra Cash
If it turns out that you need a little extra money to cover costs, or you feel it might be better to be safe than sorry, then start looking now at what you can do to make extra cash ahead of the holiday season. Extra shifts, additional jobs, cleaning out the spare room and putting it on Airbnb, having a garage sale, doing some surveys or online focus groups, babysitting – whatever you can to make extra cash that goes specifically towards Christmas. Christmas comes but once a year, so it’s a great time to celebrate and enjoy your family.
Plan Ahead For Next Year
Next year, plan ahead based on this year’s experiences, so keep a notebook of your planning and your spending this year and use it for the future. Then you can start planning even earlier and be enjoying the fun of Christmas all year round. It pays to plan ahead, and you could end up with more than you could ever wish for just by being organised and planning a little.