Christmas Calculations: Get Your Finances in Order For The Festive Season

Thinking about Christmas before we’ve even had Halloween really isn’t as crazy as it sounds. With it being such an expensive time of year, giving yourself a number of weeks to plan and spread the cost can make everything so much more manageable and affordable. The last thing you want is for December to roll around, and realise you only have three weeks to find everything you need as well as pay for it. Here are some of the ways you can start now to make life that bit easier.

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Set a budget

Setting a budget is so important. Knowing what you want to spend (and more importantly, what you CAN spend) helps to keep you on track. If you’re already struggling with debt, the last thing you want is to be adding more to it. Look into how to pay off debt quickly and then take steps to avoid running up balances again. Know what you will need to spend of gifts, food, decorations, travel and more and than work out how to split your budget between them.

Make and re-use

Christmas can be special without you going absolutely crazy. You don’t need to buy lots of new decorations each year, and chances are you have things like cards, gift wrap and other things left over. See what you already have, and what can be reused. Make what you can, things like paper chains on the tree, homemade gifts and other little crafts for decorations can save you money and it can be fun too. Check out thrift stores and markets to see what second hand deals you can find for cheap.

Find budget stocking fillers and token gifts

One of the things that can really add up over Christmas is the smaller gifts for people like colleagues, neighbours and friends of family. It’s useful to have a selection of things on hand that you can give out, especially as it can be awkward if someone unexpected brings you a gift and you haven’t got anything for them! They don’t need to be pricey things, it’s more of the thought that counts here. Keep an eye out for inexpensive gifts that would work well, look for chocolates, homewares, bath products and other bits and pieces in dollar stores, discount shops and eBay. These smaller items are also great for kids stocking fillers, it gives them lots of little things to look at and play with but without there being a huge cost.

Arrange secret santa

Giving gifts might be a wonderful feeling, but you might not necessarily have the budget to buy for everyone you care about. One way around this is to organise a secret santa. Each of you then buy one gift for someone in the group- it’s fun, you each get something and you get the enjoyment of both giving and receiving gifts but without it costing much. Be sure to specify a budget that people need to stick to.

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