We don’t talk about the cost of giving

Christmas Prep 5 – Budgets

As promised, before we get too far into the Christmas preparations, we need to think about how much we can realistically spend on everything. Please do not be tempted to blow out your budget, because you think you need to / have to. You do not have to, at all; let’s try to not spend the majority of 2019 paying off Christmas 2018.

I’m not a financial consultant, so this post is actually going to point you towards people who are, like Martin Lewis, the money saving expert. This page on his excellent website is full to bursting with hints and tips on how to create and stick to a budget over the coming months, as well as alternate present ideas.

For those in Australia, Scott Pape also know as the Barefoot Investor – his method of money management is sweeping the nation. Water cooler conversations about safety, savings and splurge are popping up all over the place.

Spreading the cost

  • Please also think about lay-by Big-W, Target and K-Mart offer excellent layby options. It means getting your list ready earlier, but it’s a big tick in the ‘done’ column.
  • Instead of using your loyalty points through the year, save them up to make a big dent in the Christmas food bill.
  • As much as I hate early Christmas decorations, that there are supplies to be had now in the supermarkets, as you tootle round (technical term) with your trolley, add things to your shop now to spread the ‘treat’ cost. B that shortbread, mince pies, a box of chocolates, or get the ingredients to make them if you’re revving up for a Christmas biscuit production line with your children.
  • Having said that, if you don’t want to buy the treats after spending months working on your health this year; move the equivalent money over to a savings account each week instead so you can save up for some thing else to mark the festivities.
  • Play an epic round of Kris Kringle or Secret Santa with your family. Now is the time to open discussions on buying one present for one member of your family. How you manage this would depend on your family, we simply pull names out of a hat and agree on a budget.
  • Something to think about for 2019 is opening a restrictive access savings account, moving money over every pay-day, knowing your nest egg is building up.
  • If you don’t like carrying around change, put all your gold coins into one jar, silver in another. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the money accumulates.
  • If you’re on Pinterest, as to be expected it is chock-full of ideas for homemade gifts. If this is the year you want to make a cake or Christmas pudding, I’ll give you the recipe we’ve used for years. Yes, with gluten free options!

Have a good week, keep adding to your notebook on things you see when out and about shopping that inspire you, or indeed terrify you, so that you can avoid them!

Christmas rules
Picture credit