Getting Ready for the Next Christmas
You’re looking out at the sky at 5.00pm now and it’s actually still light… Christmas is long over, you survived January and now you’re looking forward to spring. Spring is followed by summer, then comes autumn, then another winter, which means…another Christmas!
You know when it is – December 25 – and you know that it happens every year. So why, then, do you find yourself scrabbling around for presents in November and wondering how on earth you’re going to pay for it all?
Not this year, though. This year it’s going to be different.
Maybe it’ll be very much easier, maybe it’ll just be a bit easier. It will, however, be easier, because you’re going to follow these tips and ideas, right?
Start your shopping now
This doesn’t always mean presents, either. If you see some rolls of wrapping paper tucked away in a bargain bucket, grab them and stash them away because you’ve probably just saved yourself a few quid right there. Same goes for gift tags, boxes, bows and ribbons. Keep an eye out for discounted items that’ll make great stocking fillers, too, like hand-warmers, scarves, cinnamon-scented candles and so on.
Grit your teeth and pay off your credit card
Make January, February and March all about paying as much off your credit card balance as you can. If you dither around with minimum or just-over-the-minimum-so-you-feel-you’re-making-progress payments, then you’ll be paying more interest on your balance than you need to. Creditfix can help you to get a handle on your credit card bills if you’re finding them a bit daunting; they can also give you some great money-saving ideas.
Look for flights, trains, buses and hotels now
If you know you’ll be travelling for Christmas, then it makes sense to nail down your fares now. The sooner you book, the cheaper your travel and accommodation is likely to be. You need to have the money ready, of course, but don’t be too shy because you’ll have to buy that ticket anyway, so if you can get it cheaper…
Use those loyalty cards until they squeak
The chances are that your points balances are all but exhausted now, which can feel discouraging. Power through this silly psychological barrier and charge your cards right back up. Keep an eye out for promotions and make sure you flash that magic plastic at every purchase. By September, you’ll be rolling in it once more.
Make your Christmas list now
This is actually the biggest secret to a painless and inexpensive Christmas. If you already have a good idea of what to get some of your peeps, then why wait until November? Hit the spring and summer sales for cheaper items and then stash them away safely until the right time. That’s that person catered for – no rush, no fuss. Shopping this way gives you time to take advantage of two or three sales cycles.
Always look for vouchers
Many of us only put any serious effort into looking for discounts and vouchers at Christmas because we’re faced with such a big shopping marathon and it just costs so much money! Why not do this all year round, though? It doesn’t matter if you’re ordering a new kitchen or a silent hamster wheel – if you can knock 5% off, or get free delivery, you’ve scored something! Make sure you put the money you’ve saved into a Christmas fund or use it to pay down a card or overdraft, though. No spending it on sweets…
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