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How many times have you told yourself, ‘I’m going to get on top of my Christmas shopping this year’? And how often do you stick to your word? Everyone loves giving (and receiving) gifts, catching up with family and friends, and feasting on home-cooked meals with loved ones. But does anyone really love the $$ disappearing from their bank account?
It might be six months away, but our advice is to start planning, saving and shopping now if you want to keep your budget under control this Christmas.
Follow these five easy tips and you just might save yourself from the shock of Christmas spending.
Research gift ideas and write a list for each person. Stick to the list. Continue to check your list just like Santa does. A list does two things:
Don’t be tempted into signing up for a short-term loan. Firstly, these often have high interest rates and fees for paying the loans off early. Secondly, you’re more likely to sign up to way more than you can afford – all because you’re not hit with that upfront cost.
If you’re buying a big-ticket item, make the most of lay-by – you don’t need the physical product until Christmas, anyway. Otherwise if you’ve got the money, pay with cash. That’s your cheapest and fastest option.
By all means, ask away to make sure you’ve got the right ideas about gifts. When it comes to the actual shopping part, go it alone. Others can influence impulse buying and before you know it, that list you made earlier is made redundant.
What better time to get stuck into the spring cleaning, than in winter? No doubt you’re trying to stay warm indoors more often than usual, so make the most of your time inside and de-clutter the house. Hold a garage sale or sell the items you’re no longer using online – you can put this extra cash aside for all of your Christmas needs.
If you’ve made a shopping list for gifts, you’re already partway there. Take it a step further and start planning your festivities now. Figure out the invite list (and if you’re hosting, for one) and decide what to do about catering and travel. Once you know who you’re feeding and where, you can figure out a shopping list and start saving now.