Today I am sharing my tips when budgeting for Christmas… Every year, I tell myself I’m not going to go overboard on Christmas. I always do, but I usually manage to “balance the books” by combining several tricks.
Budgeting For Christmas
Firstly, I start buying the kids presents in January and putting them away. This means I won’t have to find all the money in November / December. I used to try saving up, but something always came up. So I’d end up dipping into my Christmas pot to cover unexpected bills. (Like the car needing repairing, or the washer breaking). For me, buying toys means I can’t spend the money on anything else. It’s a great way of budgeting for Christmas.
Secondly, I look out for bargains. I have a list in my phone of people we need to buy gifts for. So if I see a bargain throughout the year, I’ll buy it and put it away for them. The January sales is the perfect time to grab some bargains too. I have been known to pick up 20 rolls of wrapping paper in January, when it’s 9p a roll. Hubby always laughs at me, until the following Christmas when I’ve saved us a fortune. I do this with Christmas cards, gift tags and bows etc too. They get packed away with the Christmas decorations on 6th January. So then when we bring everything out the following December, they are there waiting for us!
Throughout the year, I also save up my Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons points. So I have these ready to buy all of the indulgent treats at Christmas time. I have got over £50 to spend on my Nectar card, £60 on my Tesco Clubcard and about £20 on my Morrisons card. That’s £130 worth of Christmas food I won’t have to find the money for. It’s a brilliant way of budgeting for Christmas, without cutting back.
It isn’t always easy to make ends meet though. There have been times in the past when we’ve relied on our catalogue to buy some of our gifts. It was especially tough back when I was on Maternity Leave. I think it was probably that which kick started my money saving ways and spurred me on to shop around for deals.
My Amazon Prime account is another brilliant way to save money. Amazon have so many deals, and the free next day delivery you get with Prime is a total life saver. We have Prime Now in our area too, so we can even get our groceries delivered by Amazon. This saves us a fair bit as well – especially on nappies!
If we needed a short term loan to help tide us over, “Bank of Mum and Dad” wouldn’t be an option for us. We’d struggle to make ends meet if we didn’t plan ahead. This is why we try to spread the cost of Christmas over the year, just in case something comes up and we are left a little short in December.
What about you? Do you have any tips for keeping the cost of Christmas down? Finally, check out more of my money content here.