Planning for Christmas in October!
Its mid-October and that time of year when you can feel Christmas Season is around the corner!
Have you started your Christmas planning?
Yes, planning for Christmas!! This may sound crazy but with only three paydays to go until Christmas – it really isn’t a bad idea to start thinking about your Christmas plans. Making purposeful decisions ahead of time can help avoid the last minute stress of Christmas commitments, fighting the crowds in malls for what is left on the shelf and over-spending traps that can be impossible to resist but leave you struggling in January.
If you have ever found yourself in a Christmas Eve panic, stuck in gridlocked traffic because you’ve run out of wrapping paper or still don’t have a gift for your loved one - then read on! These tips may be the secret ingredients to achieve that joyous ‘warm and fuzzy’ night before Christmas feeling!
If you haven’t already begun making your plans for Christmas then now is the time. Decide whether you will be hosting Christmas or attending a family member’s home for Christmas day. If you plan to go away and need to book flights – do this as soon as possible!
Setting a Holiday Budget
Setting a Christmas budget is completely essential and will keep you from falling into the Christmas debt trap. Budgeting Christmas may sound like a buzz-kill, but it can actually make your shopping experience more enjoyable by challenging you to find the most exciting gift in a targeted price range. Sticking within your spending limit will also remove any anxiety from Christmas shopping and leave you with a healthier bank account to see you through January!
As expenses rise you may find you need to renegotiate your gift exchanges. Perhaps your family has grown bigger or your office gift giving has gone over-the-top in recent years. Raising the issue well ahead of time will minimise the hard feelings and may even come as a welcome relief to others who are also under strain to buy more presents than they can afford.
To keep costs manageable consider setting a budget to gifts for extended family or doing a Secret-Santa exchange for the adults. Or use your skills to create unique and personal handmade gifts. The internet is full of lovely ideas from a bottle of Limoncello to Easy Peppermint Foot Soak. Inexpensive DIY gifts are not only fun to make but allow you to give gifts to neighbours, teachers, friends and colleagues without breaking the bank.
Shopping Spree Temptations
Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have now taken off in South Africa and offer enticing deals that would tempt the most disciplined spenders. These sales are the ideal opportunity to begin your Christmas shopping but beware of going on huge a spending spree for things you don’t really need. If you cant afford to buy with cash don’t buy at all – paying with a store or credit card will ultimately make these items far from discounted by the time they are paid for.
For many home décor enthusiasts Christmas is a time to transform ones home into a beautifully festive space! Christmas decorations can be overpriced. A top tip is to allow some room in your budget to purchase new decorations during the January sales when trees, decorations and wrapping goodies can be marked down by as much as 80%.
Ultimately being prepared for Christmas will separate the chores from the occasion and allow you to truly celebrate the season more wonderfully. So what are you waiting for? Begin your planning today!
Do you have any of your own tips to share – we love to hear them?