Brace yourselves. We know it’s early, but we’re going to drop the C-word.
Yep, Christmas. It’s closer than you might think, and with warnings of shortages of everything from turkeys to toilet rolls, it might be time to get prepared.
That doesn’t mean splashing cash with wild abandon.
We know it’s tempting to go big and blow the budget, especially after last year’s disappointing festive season, but don’t forget your savings goals.
There are ways to get ready without spending a load of money.
Just heed these tips from the experts at Offer Of The Day.
Set a budget just for Christmas
Get realistic about how much you want – and can afford – to spend on Christmas. Get out a pen and paper (or a spreadsheet, whatever you prefer) and establish exactly what you’re spending on each key category – presents, socialising, decorations, food.
This is absolutely key. Don’t skip this step.
Once you have that budget handy, you can refer back to it and ensure you don’t overspend simply because you’re not sure how much you can afford.
Get ahead with the shopping
‘While you might get a few strange looks for starting your Christmas shopping in October, starting early allows you to spread the expenses over a longer period of time,’ say the Offer Of The Day team.
‘Not only will you not need to be rushing around spending hundreds at a time to make sure everything is bought on time, but it will be a much more relaxed process too.’
Cut out unneccessary items from your plans
Embrace a more pared-back approach to Christmas and work out which things you don’t really need.
‘Although the thought of buying tons of ribbons, bows and fancy tablecloths is super tempting, it’s not essential,’ say the experts. ‘Ribbons and bows just end up being thrown away, so spending a fortune to dress up your wrapped presents just goes to waste.
‘Same goes for fancy tablecloths; they’ll most likely get stained, and they’ll be covered up with all of the food anyway, so nobody will be paying attention to it.’
Ask people to pitch in
‘Whether you’re hosting a party or the Christmas day meal, getting people to pitch in not only makes it cheaper, but it also makes it easier for you.
‘If you’re planning to put on a spread, ask people to each bring something with them, or ask them to bring a bottle of something special.
‘It will save you so much time and money in the long run.’
Buy an artificial tree
Real trees are great, but getting a new one every year is pricey… and often, by the time Christmas day arrives, it looks a bit worse for wear.
Get a good quality artificial tree, look after it well, and keep rolling it out year after year.
Propose a Secret Santa
The OOTD team suggest: ‘If you’re part of a big group of friends or colleagues, opt for doing Secret Santa rather than buying gifts for everyone individually. It will save a lot of money, you’ll all agree on a budget, and it also saves you from running around panicking not knowing what to buy everyone.’
Talk to loved ones about costs
We know it sounds awkward, but now’s the time to set some realistic expectations.
If you’re struggling with money or prioritising saving up for something big, have an honest chat with friends and family about how to limit the damage.
‘You can all come together and agree on limits for gifts, and this will be especially good for those with big families where buying a gift for every family member can quickly start to add up,’ say the experts.
Expertise provided exclusively from Offer Of The Day.
Credit: Original article published here.