Start planning now for Christmas

Ed Bowsher
by Lovemoney Staff Ed Bowsher on 06 January 2012  |  Comments 1 comment

Did you spend too much on Christmas 2011? If you don't want to repeat your mistake this year, start planning now.

Start planning now for Christmas

I reckon you should start planning for Christmas 2012 right now. In January.

Here are three things to focus on now:

1. Think about who you want to give to

Draw up a list now of all the people you’re likely to want to buy a present for in December. Then think about how much you want to spend in total on presents. Write all this information down.

Now that you’ve set budget targets for your Christmas spending, you’ll be less likely to go mad making expensive impulse purchases in the run-up to the big day.

In fact, budgeting is a great strategy for controlling all your spending, not just for Christmas. One of the best budgeting tools out there is lovemoney.com’s MoneyTrack tool.

2. Buy a present a month

You can spread out the cost of Christmas by buying presents gradually through the year. Just keep an eye on your total Christmas budget and don’t spend too much on the presents.

You don’t have to stick rigidly to the ‘one present a month’ rule. If you spot an amazing bargain at some point, then fine, snap it up! As long as you stay within your overall budget. (And yes, if you need to buy more than 12 presents, you’ll need to buy more than a present than a month!)

3. Save up for your food

Of course, you’ll have to buy most of your food in December, so it also makes sense to save up throughout the year.

Pay your money into a regular savings account and you could get as much as 5% a year on what you save. Principality Building Society is offering a Christmas Regular Saver Bond which pays 5.02% AER a year. You have to pay in a minimum of £20 a month and you’ll get all your money back on November 29th.

More:  Get a 0% overdraft  |  Average Brit only has £98 to spare at end of the month

 

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Comments (1)

  • hermes
    Love rating 0
    hermes said

    Ever since we married 47 years ago we have saved for Christmas. We were really hard up when we were younger and had two small children and a wife at home for a while and this was a difficult discipline to follow.

    Originally the in laws saved into a Club and encouraged us to do the same, which we did. When the 'club' (a savings scheme) folded and we moved house we opened a seperate account and regularly put money into that account especially for Christmas. We budgeted our presents so that they never cost more than we had put away. Now we keep that account going and save into a Supermarket account to cover food costs. It makes for a peaceful Christmas and a good start to the New Year.

    The suggestion about buying presents through the year sounds good if the people you are giving to want 'luxury' items and you know they will be pleased to receive the gift. We wait, money in the bank, until December to give what is currently needed/wanted. Mostly it's things needed rather than just wanted!

    Report on 17 January 2012  |  Love thisLove  0 loves

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