Since you know Christmas is coming and that it will probably cost a pretty large amount- plan now and set yourself up for a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Things you can do now are
- Deciding what you can afford
When the festive fever starts the raids on the supermarket shelves begin. Do not fall for the “It’s Christmas” trap and start buying expensive products. During the festive season these products often are rife and people seem to throw all caution to the wind and buy, buy, buy. Christmas isn’t a “let’s eat all we can” festival –think about what you are going to prepare, give, to whom and why.
Ask yourself, “What can I afford to spend on Christmas?” Christmas is one day – don’t ruin the whole of the next year for it. And remember, children are easy to please and do not value what you give them based on price.
- Not borrowing
Even with a couple of months to go you can start saving now to spread the cost. This is much better than borrowing and paying back later (maybe with a high interest rate). If you can’t afford to save; cut your cloth accordingly. Focus on having a financially happy festive season and starting a on a financially good note in the New Year.
- Making a List
Christmas shopping on impulse is dangerous and shops spend a fortune on targeting your spending impulses. To help you beat them make a list and stick to it. Make a list of who you need to buy for and what you would like to include for the festive meals and whenever you see these things at decent prices, buy them and put them away in a Christmas cupboard. And, do not buy looking at the packaging but by comparing prices of the same products.
- Keep your eyes open
Be on the look-out for discounts and deals as often when you’re not looking for something specific is when you will stumble across the perfect gift, the perfect decorations or the perfect combo of drinks. Once the festive season kicks off, you’ll be glad that you already have some items crossed off your list because you did wait until the last moment to start buying holiday goodies.
Just make sure to keep your entire advance buying a secret and to find a designated (and hidden, if necessary) spot so that your purchases are not filched and used up.
Also at the end of the festivities do go back to pick up end-of-season bargains. Usually when the frenzy in the shops is over you can find certain items that may be hit with some really great discounts (end-January).
- Take Advantage of the Shopping Promotions
Scout out which stores have these bonanza sales each season and see if there are any items on your list that will be going on sale. The new thing now is the one or two day big sales on a weekend or a Monday when the big stores offer special discounts on their products. Some stores will feature extra discounts and gifts so stay in the know during this period.
Some stores even dish out pamphlets that offer advance tips on sales. Take a few of these and peruse the listings early. Be warned, though—some so-called deals aren’t any cheaper than the regular sale price, so do some extra research beforehand.