Christmas is an expensive time of year. When I was young free and single it wasn’t hard to budget for. I only had myself and my family to think of. The only children I had to worry about were my nieces and I was able to spoil them with a Christmas budget I had set. Now being a parent the pressure of being Santa to two children can be quite overwhelming. I do my best to stick to a Christmas budget more now than ever before. I do the following things to try to stick to our Christmas budget.
Save Up For The Christmas Shop
It may sound the simplest option but running a home and keeping children in shoes can put on hold any savings plans! Some people save up loyalty points through the year. Some people join Christmas savings clubs. You need to do what works best for you. I save Boots points which I use some years to buy gifts. I also have a little Christmas savings account. Every month we have a budget for our gas and electricity bills. If there is any money left over after paying that bill I move it into our Christmas pot. In the summer as we use less gas and electricity I’m able to save more than in the winter months.
Shop The Sales
If there is a shop that you love sign up to their newsletters. They will make you aware of any upcoming sales sometimes they will even have flash sale events. Most stores normally have a sale at the end of August. Christmas gifts have been brought in the August sales. I have event brought items in the January sales and put them away. You do have to keep an eye on what is purchased as early shopping can lead to over shopping. I have been known to keep an excel document of my Christmas gift finds.
Look Out For Offers
Without fail every year Boots have a three for two offer on their Christmas gifts. This means you get a free gift for every two you buy. I have used this offer many times and they also include more that just beauty products in the Christmas gift range. Argos have also started to do this offer just when the children return to school in September.
You have to play the system to make the biggest savings. They will always give you the cheapest items for free. So I have split up my items at check out. Making sure that I buy the more expensive items together so that I get a bigger ticket item for free. If you can also pay with your loyalty points. Free gifts all round! If I do shop the offers for toys I do also try to check the prices of items on other online stores. Prices can sometimes be full price in the offers compared to other retailers.
What Happens If you Go Over Your Christmas Budget?
I already know I have gone over the budget I have set for my little lady’s gifts. I know our savings are low and I need to look at a few more items for Ethan. This does mean I will have to turn to my credit card. It is something I’m not happy to do but I have learnt that being a parent is all about juggling your money. December is an expensive month and will always be no matter how hard you try to prepare for it.
Using A Credit Card For Your Christmas Budget
If you have to use a credit card always be aware of the APR that is being charged by the company you use. If you know you need to use a credit card it might be a good idea to look at the available deals they have. You might be able to find a credit card that is offering a 0% APR deal on purchases. Your existing credit card company could also have a deal on offer.
When using credit always be aware of the minimum payments that you will be required to pay each month. It is always advisable to pay more than the minimum payment. Or even clear the payments if you can. If you are finding it difficult to meet your monthly credit payments please seek help and advise. Creditfix offer an advisory service for managing debt.
DISCLOSURE – This post is in collaboration with Creditfix.