Christmas has just passed so the idea of thinking about it again already might seem crazy. But do you find that when December arrives, the cost of the holidays hit you hard? Every December, many people find that they have to scramble to find the money needed for all the extra expenses. From gifts to holiday travel, you can end up spending all your savings or perhaps even taking out a loan. If you want things to be different this year, it will pay to start thinking about Christmas early. Arm yourself with a plan, and when December arrives, you’ll feel much more comfortable.
Create a Plan and Budget
If you want to be prepared for Christmas this year, start by coming up with a plan. You can create a strategy for paying for your Christmas essentials and set a budget for how much you want to spend. Think about how much you want or can afford to pay for gifts, as well as how much things like travel or food will cost too. Consider creating a schedule to spread out your spending and ensure you buy certain things at the right time. For example, it will be better to buy any tickets for travel earlier to avoid paying expensive holiday prices closer to the date.
Shop the Sales
Don’t leave all your holiday shopping until December. Between then and now, you have lots of great sales opportunities. Start with the January sales, where you can find lots of Christmas gifts you can put away for the end of the year. Every time you see an opportunity to save, don’t let it go to waste. You can also look for discounts that you can use at any time of the year. For example, you can find codes on sites like http://www.plusvouchercode.co.uk/offers-discount-code-house-of-fraser.html.
You don’t have to start buying anything now if it’s not convenient. Another option is to get saving, so you have a good amount to spend when the holidays arrive. If you can save $10 a week every week until Christmas, you’ll have hundreds to spend when it’s time to do your shopping. Set an amount you want to set aside each month or a total goal you want to reach. You can find ways to reduce your expenses so that you can save more too. If you can spend less on your energy bill each month, you’ll have more to spend on the holidays. For example, many homeowners find that inadequate roofing is one of the main reasons for their massive energy bills, as the heat can’t be kept in the house. Hot air rises and then escapes from the roof that needs fixing, so by getting this repaired, energy bills can instantly be lowered. Furthermore, energy bills can be lowered by looking closely at your windows and checking they are energy efficient. Look into more energy-efficient windows, such as energy efficient double hung windows, so that the warm air has nowhere to escape. This will ultimately lower your heating bill and keep you warmer! Another popular way of saving energy in order to get in that extra Christmas spending is to reduce the amount of unnecessary food waste your house might create. If you don’t need it – don’t buy it! If you research into it, there are so many ways that changes around the home, whether they be big or small, can help you to save for the festive season.
Try a Christmas Savings Club
If you need a little help with saving, you can try a Christmas savings club. They help you to put aside a bit of money each month. Unlike if you just used your regular checking account, you can’t access your money until Christmas arrives. Keep in mind that there are often restrictions on how you spend your money, though. You might have to exchange them for vouchers or gift cards, or perhaps buy straight from the savings club. You can read more about savings clubs at http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/christmas-club-accounts-1.aspx.
There’s no need to panic every December. Start getting ready for the holidays now, and it will be smooth sailing.