Why would we even want to be thinking about Christmas already? It’s only mid-January, after all!
Well here is the thing. Christmas always comes at the same time every year. We know that it’s going to come around again. We know pretty much who we need to get gifts for yet we leave things until the end of the year and end up spending more than we need to because we’re running out of time.
Here are five ways to get ready for Christmas and save money at the same time:
- Write a spreadsheet! Yes, those of you who know me know that I rely heavily on spreadsheets for organisation. This especially applies at Christmastime. Write down the name of the recipient, leave a space to write in the gift you’ve bought or want to buy for them and insert another column to indicate when the gift has been bought. This will save you forgetting who you bought for and then ending up with more gifts tucked away than you thought you had.
- Make the most of the January sales. In fact there are now plenty of sales which crop up throughout the year so use them to your advantage. Stock up on gifts, wrapping paper and cards. You can find some fantastic items at a fraction of their normal price. There are so many bargains to be had but…
- … only use cash! This is very important. There is no point thinking that you’ll just whack new purchases on the credit card because then you’re getting deeper and deeper into the circle of debt. Use real money for purchases and spread them out over the course of the year.
- Get a supply of non-gender specific toys and gifts for young children such as colouring books, reading books and arts and crafts stuff. If they’re on offer and can be used for any young child it helps to keep one or two gifts like this in reserve.
- Keep a note of specific gifts that you want to get for certain people close to hand and keep an eye out when stores reduce prices of certain ranges. For example, if granny wants a foot spa keep an eye on the Health and Personal Care department of Argos.
- Try to buy a voucher a month directly from a store instead of putting your money into a Christmas savings club. Just £2.50 a week will allow you to buy a ten pound voucher each month from the store of your choice allowing you to buy any outstanding gifts in December, or to give the vouchers themselves as gifts.
- Make stuff. Over the course of the year we’ll be posting some craft ideas and tutorials on this site, many of which can be used as Christmas (or anytime) gifts.
- Look out for bargains online.
- Make online bargains even better by hunting down discount codes and using cashback sites.
- Make it your mantra to never, ever buy anything at full price. Ever.