Christmas is coming….Ok so maybe not just yet but once the summer holidays are over the Christmas decorations will start creeping into the shops and then it just escalates from there!
Don’t worry, I am not actually thinking about Christmas yet (although I have bought a couple of stocking fillers already but I’ll probably forget about them by December and find them around Easter time next year!)
There’s no denying that Christmas is expensive. There are lots of ways to cut down on unnecessary expenditure at Christmas, but unless you are going to go full on super thrifty by making all your presents from stuff you’ve foraged in the woods, then you are going to have a peak of expenditure during December. Do you plan for that extra expenditure, or do you get to December, spend three times as much as usual and then go through January (and possibly February too) feeling poor?
Ideally if you’re going to plan ahead for Christmas expenditure, you should be thinking about it from January each year, but even now at the end of July there are still things you can do:
- Christmas is now 153 days away – how about putting £1 aside each day from now on?
- If you put away £10 each week from now until the end of November, you would have £180 extra to spend in December.
- Put aside any cashback rewards such as from Quidco or from a cashback credit card or bank account. Still not using cashback sites? Find out what you’re missing out on here Free money! (via cashback sites)
- Have a clear out (baby equipment is often a good seller) and put the money towards the festive season. It takes a bit of effort to sort through and sell it all so start now. Have a look at my tips for selling here Cash in the attic
- This one is too late for this year, but worth mentioning anyway – if you pay your council tax by monthly direct debit over 10 months you will have two months a year (February & March) with no payments. If the council aren’t taking the money from your account, then why don’t you take it, put it in a savings account and it will be ready to spend at Christmas next year.
The above are just a few suggestions. What I’m trying to get across is don’t let the increased expenditure in December come as a shock. You shouldn’t have to use expensive credit cards or overdrafts if you use a bit of simple forward planning and budgeting instead.