How To Cut The Cost of Next Christmas Now
The Secret To Having An Affordable Christmas
What is the secret of having a truly thrifty Christmas? In fact, what’s the secret to not letting your spending on all your gifts for the whole year run away with your purse? Budget stores? Buying in the sales? Becoming a hermit?
All of these would help – although I don’t recommend the last one – but they are not the single most important thing you can do to keep the cost of gifting down. The single most important thing you can do is to plan ahead. If you know in advance which gifts you are going to want to give and when, and have a clear idea of exactly how much you can afford to spend then you are in an excellent position to take steps to give without going over your budget. Let it all creep up on you, though, and you will start to panic buy… at a price.
Here’s how to take control of your budget for next Christmas – in fact for all your gift-buying this year – in five easy steps.
Spend A Little Time; Save A Lot Of Money Later
First get clear in your head why you are buying gifts at all. Bowing to social pressure? Keeping up with the Joneses? Letting your loved ones know that you value them? Whatever your personal reason for buying gifts this year, put a price on that – what is buying gifts worth to you?
- Now use my soothingly rational How To Cut Your Gift-Buying Budget flowchart to decide how you are going to keep to that budget this year
- If one of the ways you plan to keep to your budget is by making gifts, then use Who Is Going To Thank You For A Home-Made Gift? to figure out where you can – and can’t – go the DIY route. Then start working on those DIY gifts now. That way you can enjoy the creative process rather than running yourself ragged trying to do them all next December.
- Make a plan. Write down every gift you plan to give this year – Christmas, birthdays, weddings, new not-even-born-yet babies, teacher and other thank-you gifts, as well as the less predictable but good to have in the bag ones (hostess gifts, house-warming presents, hospital visiting, etc.). Start filling in what you plan to give for each one – don’t worry if some of these are pretty vague at this stage. Try Organised31 for a printable gift-planner to simplify this step.
- Get your gifts as and when you see them at the right price for your budget.
That’s it. You can do this! You just need to take the time now.