Posted on October 7, 2015

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Advertorial/ Guest post

I’m going to say it, and you’re probably not going to like me for it, but it’s only 98 sleeps until Christmas. Yes, yes, I know many of you are only just recovered from the long summer break, which at times has most likely left you pulling your hair out, but as we welcome a new season, it suddenly dawned on me how close Christmas Day actually is!

And, with the kids already pointing out what they want off the big fella in red at every opportunity, I realised that I must find the time to sit down and evaluate my finances, after promising myself that this Christmas, I would take control of my spending to avoid facing financial difficulty in the New Year.

I don’t know about you but as soon as the festive season begins, I feel myself becoming completely wrapped up in festivities, kids’ parties (and adults’ parties too!), and all of the other happy times that come hand in hand with the Christmas period.

Every year, like many people, I struggle with managing our family finances over the festive season. After all, when jingle bells is blasting out of the speakers in your favourite department store, decorations are catching your eye in all directions, and you’re surrounded by mountains of enticing gifts for your friends and family, it’s easy to lose track of what you are spending!

But, with Christmas only a matter of weeks away, for once in my life, I am going to take my own advice.

Set a budget and stick to it!

Covering the cost of Christmas is often the cause of family arguments and domestic strife. So, myself and my partner have promised ourselves that we are going to set strict budgets this year, so that we’re not out of pocket come the new year.

I have asked all the kids to write down a list of the presents they would like, and I will accommodate as many as I can within budget. Equally, I have sat down and compiled a list of presents that I need to purchase for family and friends, and set a price limit that fits in with our household budget.

If you have a large extended family with lots of people to buy for, it might be worth implementing a ‘children only rule,’ – this should take away some of the financial pressure!  And, most importantly, don’t feel pressured into spending what you can’t afford!

Credit

Although you shouldn’t feel pressured into spending what you haven’t got, for many families, covering the cost of Christmas does require them to look at the options of credit.

And although, it’s not ideal, when managed responsibly it can help you to spread the cost of Christmas. If you are considering credit, it’s a good idea to check out your credit report before you apply – find out more here.

Make the most of vouchers

Money off vouchers are great for making significant savings during the Christmas period and, although many of them end up in the bottom of your handbag, if you find the time to use them, there are lots of savings to take advantage of.

So, rather than forgetting about them, or throwing them in the bin, make sure you keep them safe, and if you know when you are going to go shopping pick them up and use them!

Start as early as possible

Planning and preparation is the key to managing your money effectively during the festive period!

Leaving your Christmas shopping to the last minute will only leave you more likely to panic buy and overspend, as you frantically explore the shops for the perfect presents (I’ve been there and got the T-shirt!). If you are organised and have a clear idea of what you are looking for before venturing out into the Christmas crowds, you’ll be more likely to stick to your budgets!

This is a featured guest post

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17 Comments

  • Reply Donna @OrdCyclingGirl October 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Some great tips but it’s too early for me! It’s only October!! I can’t think about Christmas for at least another month!

  • Reply Charly Dove October 16, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Really good tips especially the one about starting early. I always mean to but it never happens. Does have something to do with Poppy’s birthday being on Christmas Day though – I’m in denial she’ll be another year older!

  • Reply Globalmouse October 15, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Organisation is definitely key but I’m not ready to think about it just yet! Soon though…. 🙂

  • Reply Sonya Cisco October 13, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I start my shopping at the end of October – my son has his birthday next week and after that I start getting organised for Xmas!

  • Reply Gemma October 12, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    I saved each month with Park and have just received my Love2shop anywhere card to start my shopping. So glad I don’t have to worry about getting into debt each year. I always set a budget for the kids and try my hardest to stick to it

  • Reply oana79 October 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I agree, organisation is everything when it comes to Christmas spending and saving!xx

  • Reply BlueBearWood October 11, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Every year I say I’m going to start looking earlier for gifts but with birthdays running into the end of October I always struggle for ideas.

  • Reply JuggleMum, Nadine Hill October 9, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Funnily enough, hubby and I are sitting down tonight to decide what we will get everyone and allocate a budget, as I like to get things in order well before December!

  • Reply sam fernley October 8, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Vouchers are a super idea and online discounts. I have a very quiet Christmas, we prefer having Christmassy days out as my son isn’t sure about receiving lots of pressies and we have a small family. I tend to squirrel bits and bobs away all year.

  • Reply Joanne Dewberry October 8, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Excellent tips BUT how dare you speak about Christmas!! I can’t bare how early Christmas gets each year now, you spend pretty much half the year preparing for 3 days!

  • Reply Kara October 8, 2015 at 8:26 am

    *sticks fingers in my ears* “Lala la la la” it’s still to early for the “C” word! You are right though, it is important that you stick to a budget and only get what you can afford

  • Reply Clare aka Emmy's Mummy October 7, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I start shopping in January and hide gifts away. I’m almost finished…don’t hate me

  • Reply Jen October 7, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I LOVE christmas and we always set a budget nad do not go over it. It is often a lot less than other peoples!

  • Reply Erica Price October 7, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    It’s coming up quick isn’t it? I am feeling virtuous this year as I already have sent the ones to Australia.

  • Reply angela hamilton October 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    i really need to be more organised when it comes to Christmas shopping! I am terrible

  • Reply Rachel October 7, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I always say I am going to start early, never do and then I go into full blown panic and just do a massive Amazon order x

  • Reply Emma October 7, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Yep, I definitely need to be more organised this year. Munich isn’t great for shopping and I tend to order a lot of stuff online anyway, but with a new baby due any day, I need to be on top of things! 98 days has actually made me feel a little better! 😀

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