I found the first mention of Christmas last night when reading our local paper, which made me feel a bit sick. For goodness sake – we haven’t even had a proper summer yet. And it’s suddenly starting to get dark earlier too, noticeably so at half past seven last night. Groan.
But looking on the bright side, if you’re dedicated to saving money and don’t want to spend yourself silly this Christmas, there’s plenty of time to get your act together. Bearing this in mind, with great reluctance tempered by the knowledge that it’s a sensible idea, today I’m going to look at getting ready for Xmas in good time!
Of course you could always take the decision to cut the festive season right back to the basics this year, or forgo it altogether. If you don’t have kids, do you really need to go the whole hog and bankrupt yourself for two days of over-indulgence?
At the end of the day, religious or not, most of us like to celebrate in one way or another. December is terribly dull and depressing without something to look forward to at the end of it. But there are ways and means of enjoying yourself without having to spend the whole of the following year paying back your debts.
If you want to forget the whole Christmas thing this year, now’s the time to spread the word amongst your friends and relatives so they have plenty of time to get used to the idea! If you want to cut back dramatically, now’s the time to get your Christmas gift hat on and start salting away gifts and other supplies early.
So… from now on, whenever you see something that’d make a great gift for someone you love, buy it, label it, store it and make a list of what you’ve bought so you know who you still need to buy for. By the time December rolls around, you’ll be sorted and you won’t need to hit the shops in the usual crazy spending frenzy, when almost all of us spend far more than we intended, driven by TV adverts and tradition.
Unless you have a fantastic freezer, it’s probably a little early to start buying food. Start collecting greetings cards, or the materials you need to make your own. Now’s a good time to work out a Christmas budget, promise yourself you’ll stick to it and start putting money away. Do your thinking and planning early and when the big day finally arrives, you’ll be sorted when everyone else is embroiled in the usual ridiculous panic buying and over-extravagance.
In the meantime, let’s hope for an Indian Summer. We deserve it!