Only a matter of days until Christmas is here and, I don’t know about you but, I keep on remembering small things I have forgotten so off I go to get them or add them to my Christmas delivery order. The original Christmas delivery order started off at around £60 and has since doubled! I find the excuse that ‘It’s Christmas‘ gets thoroughly stretched and distorted and all manner of items make their way into my basket.
Gifts – that’s another shady area to keep an eye on. I start with a short list of my nearest and dearest. I vow to stick to it and not waver but as I trundle around shops, malls and supermarkets my eyes are caught by shining offers and incredible ideas – I know so-and-so would love that! Boom, it’s in the basket and the cash is flowing out of my purse faster than the Niagara falls in the springtime.
Will I ever learn?
Yes, I did! I made myself learn this year. A bit of willpower and common sense has seen a much tighter control on my purse strings but all helped along by a plan and a wonderful list…I do love a list. I share my top tips for budgeting at Christmas with you and if it’s too late for this year then take a look further down the post for some more excellent advice on how to get out of debt.
Top tips for Christmas budgeting
Make a gift list
…and stick to it! I started back in November, I wrote down everyone who we normally buy for and budgeted for each person, including ideas of gifts I know they’ll be pleased to receive. My list included all family members, teacher and TA gifts, Girl Guide leaders (2), Netball club leaders (2)
Along the way, I added a Secret Santa which was set at £10 and a couple of gifts for Guide leaders who hadn’t been accounted for. I also crossed off all non-essential gifts – do we really have to give something to EVERYONE to prove we like them?
Set a spending limit
…and stick to it. Husband and I only give token gifts at Christmas now and set a spending limit of £10ish. For every member of the family set your limit and go and have fun seeking the perfect gift. Do Not Be Tempted to go higher, they won’t love you more for it
Pay in cash – no credit card
I have set aside a small amount of money each month to cover stocking fillers and husband has done the same too. This is worth remembering in January. Set up a savings account for this purpose, with as little as £25 a month going in you’ll have a nice £300 to spend which goes a long way when it comes to carefully budgeted gifts.
If you are sensible and stick to your plan, you’ll get through Christmas without creating massive debts to ruin the new year.
Hunt for bargains
This is also an area which needs forward planning but can shave off pounds here and there that go to helping you stick to your budget. The first sales to consider are September sales when Argos does a special toy sale. Find out when the big supermarkets do there special offers and of course pencil in Black Friday – we got quite a few bargains that weekend. All pound stores are heaving with great ideas for stocking fillers and keep an eye out in every store you visit for any sales, end of line discounts and so on that can help out with your gifting.
Don’t go crazy!
Sometimes I feel, we get dragged into a social world where everyone else is doing so much more and giving their loved ones everything on the list but is that truly the most sensible thing to do? Are we creating materialistic monsters. Do my Instagram photos have to make me look like I’m a billionaire or rather a happy family who has enjoyed the thinking and giving of small gifts.
It’s all very well for me to sit here and chat about budgeting at Christmas time but I did learn the hard way and so I share my tips with you because they worked for me. If you did get yourself into debt this year, first of
Secondly, be aware that there are places where you can get advice and help if you are in debt. Creditfix is one of those places who offer advice on handling personal debt and getting out of trouble in the quickest and easiest manner.
This is a collaborative post but the tips are mine and they do work!