We may only be in November but the ever-expanding festive fare already available in every high street shop and supermarket provides a daily reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. Whilst it might still feel too soon for you to begin thinking about your arrangements for the Yuletide season, there are definite benefits to getting your Christmas plans in order nice and early. Here are our top tips to help you get your festive finances in order before you open your first advent calendar window.
Make the big financial decisions as early as possible – Whilst there are always a lot of money choices to make around Christmas, you don’t want to make them all once you’re fully caught up in the festive spirit. Once the tree has been decorated and the carols are being sung, you’re likely to make decisions emotionally rather than rationally, which can easily lead to you overspending without fully considering the consequences.
Agree a budget with friends and family well in advance – Coming up with a set amount you and your loved ones will spend on presents for each other is a good way to avoid overspending, but it can cause embarrassment if not everyone sticks to the arrangement. Agreeing your budget early helps to ensure nobody starts their Christmas shopping before knowing the spending limit.
Hide your credit cards – It can be all too tempting to put more and more Christmas costs onto a credit card, racking up unnecessary debt that will leave you strapped for funds long into the new year. Take your credit cards out of your wallet now and put them well away to avoid the temptation to spend beyond your limits over Christmas. If you shop online, remove your credit card details from your shopping accounts too – you can always add them back on if necessary in January.
Make the most of your freezer – Christmas food can be pricey, a fact made even more frustrating when you realise a lot of it is simply the same stuff you can buy all year round wrapped in snowflake-adorned packaging. Stocking up early on the food you’ll need over the festive period makes sure you don’t have to spend more than necessary, as well as preventing you from having to make multiple trips to the supermarket in the busy days leading up to 25th December.