Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, sitting at the tree unwrapping presents, drinking your bodyweight in eggnog. It probably feels like it’s all half a lifetime away, but believe it or not this is the ideal time to start laying the foundations for a Christmas that you and the family will never forget. In between making bag lunches for the kids who’ve recently returned to school and honing your pumpkin carving skills and sewing scary costumes for Halloween, there’s a little window within which you can start sewing the seeds that will make the holiday period virtually stress free. After all, you don’t want to be caught dashing frantically up and down the high street, arms laden with panic bought presents on Christmas Eve, do you? Not again?
September is the perfect time for planning, and in so doing you can sidestep a lot of the financial and logistical woes that tarnish the magic of the holiday season for a lot of people. A lot of the financial strain of the holiday period comes from over-spending to compensate for poor planning and make no mistake- stores will jack up their prices the closer you get to the holidays. Here are some areas in which you can make big savings in terms of money time and effort without compromising on fun and festivity this Christmas.
Christmas is above all a time for family. Since a lot of people have family all around the country, and indeed the world, airlines are exceptionally busy around Christmas time. Yet, between late July and early October there is a sweet spot in which cheap flights (both nationally and internationally) are at their most affordable. Whether you’re planning on seeing relatives over the holidays or are thinking of taking the family for a magical Christmas vacation, you’ll make substantial savings (and give yourself some peace of mind) by buying now.
Let’s hit this particular nail on the head. Christmas can be an expensive time, and while generosity at Christmas time is great, it can also be crippling to your personal finances (which we’ll get to shortly). Just as doing your grocery shopping on a full stomach is the best way to guard against impulse purchases (we all know that devil of low blood sugar sitting on our shoulder and guiding us to the doughnut aisle), the fall season is the best time to make reasoned and manageable gift purchasing with our hand guided by neither panic nor impulse.
Gift ideas for men, women and children are easy to come by this close to Christmas and with the ‘Christmas creep’ on the way, you won’t have to wait long for the festive accoutrements to start filling up your local supermarket shelves.
Kids’ toys and gifts are notoriously subject to the whims of change, but the toy industry leader Hasbro’s “must haves” for Christmas 2017 have already been announced, so you can shop in small, manageable increments safe in the knowledge that your fall bargains won’t be old hat by the time Christmas rolls around. While your kids probably won’t start making their Christmas wish lists just yet, it’s worth keeping an ear to the ground to find out what they really want this year. If you know what they want in advance there’s a much better chance you’ll find a bargain before the festive boom.
Keep your purchases well hidden and boxed but resist the urge to wrap them straight away. The last thing you want is to forget exactly what you’ve bought.
We all know how damaging Christmas can be to our personal finances, with credit card debts piling up long into the new year. There are, however, ways in which you can mitigate the financial damage caused by the festive spend-a-thon. Now’s the time to start saving for a cash Christmas, setting aside a little each week so that you’ll avoid leaning too heavily on your credit card and throwing money away on interest payments.
Your best bet is to approach the season with as much preparation of possible. Planning a budget and preparing gift lists for the whole family will help you to avoid impulse-spending and save you any nasty surprises when you look at your bank statements.
It’s easy to run laps of the supermarket panic spending on food and wine in the build up to the holidays,and as with gifts, it’s important to list everything you need and budget accordingly. Through the miracle of modern refrigeration you can get your turkey nice and early and keep it frozen until the big day. Likewise drinks and nibbles can be bought well in advance, so that come the lead up to Christmas all you’ll need is fresh veggies.
Affiliate Links Below