3 easy steps to budget for Christmas
Yes, it can be done! If you have your heart set on being organized (and on budget) for Christmas this year, then please read on for our simple but effective steps.
STEP ONE - Confirm Your Christmas Plan’s Now With Family and Friends
Firstly, you need to know the following essential details: Christmas Day schedule and present expectations.
- Where is it being held?
- Who is expected to bring what food/drinks/presents?
- What family/friends/neighbours etc. do you intend to buy for?
Arrange a casual get together to nut out the details now. Try and get everyone to agree to either not buy anything or at least set a fixed present amount. You have enough time now so that things can get ironed out before anyone starts shopping. To keep costs down, why not consider everyone bringing a plate/ their own drinks and doing a Kris Kringle for presents. Get everyone to agree and you are half way there to being organized this Christmas!
STEP TWO - Work Out Your Budget for Christmas and Make Lists
Now you know the food/drinks and present situation, work out the expected costs associated to each. Depending on what food/drinks you are taking, start checking catalogues etc. and keep an eye out for when your specific items are on special. Have a list and cross of each item as you purchase them (and at what price to keep on top of your budget.) You will need to work out a food/drink budget and also a gift budget. For the gifts, work out how many you need to buy, and allocate the expected amount you intend to pay. Again, do your work early by checking online stores/EBay/Gumtree etc. and you may find what you want at a bargain price. If you are creative or a good cook, consider making your own cards and gifts. Otherwise you could consider doing beautiful hampers with products that you have snapped up on sale when reviewing the Christmas catalogues! There are already specials on chocolates/tins/jars/packet goods etc. that you could easily store away now for when you are ready to wrap up.
STEP THREE - Divide Your Items Into The Next 7 Weeks
For example, if you have 14 presents to get, you should try and budget to buy a minimum of two a week from now on. This is the same for the food/drinks list. Continue to check the specials/ online catalogues, and try to spread out the costs over the next 7 weeks. This will also help you prevent massive blowouts if you are using a credit card, which can make it really hard to repay. There you have it. Three simple steps that could help remove that last minute rush and panic buying that so many Aussies are guilty of! If you can do all of this within the next 7 weeks, guess what? It means you will officially be finished on the 19th December, so you will be happily twiddling your thumbs for 4 days before Santa arrives (and avoid that horrifying last weekend when every other Aussies is madly trying to do their entire Christmas shop in two days!) Good luck!