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Planning ahead can save a fortune when it comes to Christmas, start thinking about it now and save in the long run.
I am already planning for next Christmas. I know, it sounds totally mad, before this one is even out of the way. But heading into the new year has got me thinking. Not about resolutions as such but about the things I want to achieve in the next year.
We really want to start paying more off of our mortgage. Grow our savings. Start a family. All of this requires us being extra careful with our money. And because Christmas is the most expensive time of the year I really want to start preparing now.
Choosing a budget and sticking to it
I haven’t actually decided on a budget for next Christmas yet, but I do plan do get as many of my gifts as I can for free. However, I think there are times I will want to spend a little because a gift is perfect for someone and I know they would love it.
I think come September I’ll go through everything I have and see what I need to get and who I have left to buy for. I’m hoping I won’t need to spend more than £50.
If you can afford to, why not choose a budget now. Spending £30 each month and buying a few bits is far easier than trying to find £360 in December.
Taking advantage of Freebies
I have been lucky enough to claim loads of freebies this year. So many in fact I didn’t need them all for Christmas so some have been put away for Birthdays during the year, in particular the free DVDs Sky have given away.
This week I had a free £5 voucher to spend in the Bodyshop (from the Mail on Sunday – my workplace allowed me to take their copy home so it didn’t cost me anything!) and there was also a free bubble bath from there too with o2 priority moments. So that’s two presents to put in my present cupboard for next year before this year is even out. It’s temping to wrap these up and give them as a little ‘extra’ gift for someone, but I really don’t think I need to.
I will be keeping an eye throughout the year for more freebies like this. I have had a lot of free food from shopping apps in the last couple of months, so food hampers that can be given to a whole family are definitely a good budget option. Add to these the DVDs Sky have given away during the year and there’s a very cheap and easy gift in the making.
Learning from my mistakes
Usually I am super organized when it comes to Christmas. Presents bought early and in the sales, freebies stashed away etc. But this year I made a few silly mistakes that have cost me money. Not huge amounts, granted, but it’s still money I didn’t need to spend. For example, wrapping paper. I bought two rolls. After which, I decided to have a wrapping day and thought the two rolls wouldn’t be enough. So I bought another two. I haven’t actually opened these yet as the first two easily wrapped all of my gifts. When we got the Christmas decorations down from the attic I had four rolls left from last year! As well 23 gift bags I’d saved. I’ll be putting them somewhere I can find them this year!
All in all I’m hoping next Christmas will be lovely without having to break the bank. Or spend a fortune on gifts we don’t need to buy or that won’t be appreciated. I’ve never got into debt because of Christmas but I can see how easy it is for people to do so. I want to show that you can have an amazing Christmas for very little and will be updating everyone on my progress throughout the year.