Are you a planner or a more of just wing it type of person? I’m definitely a planner, in all aspects of my life. However, the only thing I am not great at planning is my finances. Don’t get me wrong, I account for all the necessities, bills, food, petrol etc. However, when it comes to shopping, I really need to be more sensible. Don’t we all sometimes, hey!
Christmas can be a really expensive time of year, and this can be very stressful. Stressing about money can be the hardest thing to deal with. Trust me I know. So to make this season an easier time on myself, I came up with some budget planning ideas that I thought I would share.
Think about next year now
By this I mean, set up a payment plan where you put money away each month, to save for Christmas shopping. Whatever you’re able to put away each month will really help you. You can just have an envelope or money pot at home, or use a separate account at your bank.
I did this savings tactic for last year, but fell behind on it this year, and I noticed a massive difference in my stress levels. I felt more prepared for shopping last Christmas. So, I’ll certainly be setting up savings again come January.
Don’t keep up with The Jones’s
When you’re out shopping, or talking about what you’re buying for others, try not to get sucked in by things. It’s easy to sit there and think, “well they’ve bought a Jo Malone candle, I’ll have to as well.” Or, “They’ve just bought 3 Chanel perfumes, that’s a much better gift than mine.” First rule is, don’t be hard on yourself.
Anyone receiving a gift from someone they love, will (should) always appreciate it. There’s no competition or price war in buying Christmas presents. You stick to your budget, and don’t ever think that what you’re buying isn’t good enough.
This year, I have shopped around for lots of little bits from different businesses, to make up a bundle of little gifts for my family and friends. So far, I am on budget, and really happy with what I’ve picked up.
I’ve been to retail parks, city centre’s and outlet villages to find gifts. By doing this, you have the chance to compare prices, find different deals, and get varied presents that maybe others won’t be buying.
Always keep your eyes peeled for price match days at department stores. These offer great deals on items that wouldn’t usually be discounted. Also, look out for deals online from Groupon and Wowcher, these sell great deals for experiences.
Make a List
Make a list, and check it twice. Ok, sorry about that, but I had to say it. Writing out a Christmas shopping list is essential. In order to stay on budget, and also to not forget anyone, you need to write down who you’re buying for and what ideas you have.
Heading straight in to town, amongst hundreds of people, and not having a list is a nightmare. By not being prepared, if you’re like me, then you’ll be so easily distracted and not get half the things you need.
Grab some paper, and get jotting down all the names of friends and family you need to buy for, and beside them put some ideas, or your budget for their gift.
Know Your Budget
This may seem an obvious one, but not planning out how much to spend can lead to disaster. When budgeting for your Christmas Shopping, don’t forget to include cards and wrapping costs in to this. This is one I always forget.
Touching upon what I briefly said before, note down how much you want to spend on each person. This will help not only with your bank balance, but also in directing you where to shop that is within your budget for this gift.
Don’t forget January
My final tip is to not forget about January. This can be a tough month, it’s long until you get paid, your wages have gone on your Christmas break and NYE party. So, I’d suggest putting a small amount of money to one side, in order to see you through January. It’s a good fall back option, even if it’s just used to grab the remainder of Christmas speciality coffees.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and can take some good ideas away from it. I would really love to hear what budget planning you have for Christmas, or how you plan out your Christmas shopping. I hope it is all going well, and stress free for you.
Love, Jessi xoxo
Images shot by Abi from Blush and Noise.
Bag – Primark
Trainers – Adidas Originals – Superstars
Coat – Calvin Klein, years ago. Sorry guys.