Oooh some of you will hate me for mentioning the C word early but will you forgive me if I said I can help you save some dollar and remain sane in the process?? Keep reading... this is the post for anyone who stresses out coming up to Christmas and wants to be organised or wants to do the festive season on a budget.
Decide who you are buying for
This might sound pretty straight forward but writing a list of who you want to buy presents for really helps you get organised and keep track of who you still need to buy for. Keep a list on your phone for on-the-go shopping which prevents you from overbuying.
Top tip: Cut down your list by starting with the 'essentials'- who you definitely need to buy for like family, boyfriends/girlfriends. Talk to friends/colleagues about whether people want to buy presents for each other- you will be surprised the number of people who secretly want to budget too. Suggest an alternative like Secret Santa where you each pick from a hat and buy one person a present- agree on a budget/limit so no-one goes OTT!
Decide how much you want to spend
This can be done a few ways; either decide how much you want to spend on each person or split your budget by how many you need to buy for. The latter may only work if you have been saving up for Christmas for a while but you can still make a difference by saving now! Be strict with a budget to ensure you don't overspend- if you set a limit of £30 per person don't go looking at anything over that price!
Top tip: Each week/month put any spare money aside for your funds. Sacrifice on a few nights out, takeaways and coffee runs- it all adds up! A night out to a club can cost me between £30-£50, enough to buy at least one or two presents!
Spend wisely & do your research
It's easy to overspend when you don't have a plan or any ideas for each present. I've bought presents randomly and then found out I overpaid or regretted buying them so had to buy something else- don't waste your money!
Top tip: When you get an idea for a present- write it down on paper or on your phone! Do some research to find out the best prices. Then you can refer to your list when shopping so you have a plan and won't buy presents on a whim.
Add a personal touch & save on wrapping
The nicest gifts can be the most thoughtful which don't have to cost a bomb! Think about what that person really likes or has hinted/mentioned in the past. Handmade gifts and wrapping are a great way to show your creative side but will require a bit of forward planning.
Top tip: If you are limited on time or are less creative, don't think you have to spend loads of money on fancy wrapping for your presents to look nice. Do your research for cheaper card/wrapping stores, in the UK I would highly recommend Card Factory for great cards and gift wrapping on a budget. If you struggle with wrapping- watch a load of Youtube videos and save money than paying for someone else to do it.
Tick when you complete each present
This relates back to the 1st point, having a list will be your best friend when planning for Christmas. The best bit is when you have bought that present for the lucky person, wrapped it up and stored it away, you can get your list out and put a massive big tick next to that person's name. Yep, there is nothing I find more satisfying (I know it sounds so lame) but this is how I manage to stay in control rather than let the stress of Christmas control me.
I hope some of you find these tips handy!
Have you got any tips for Christmas planning?