I can hear the groans from 100 miles away. Christmas?! It is October! But whilst many of us baulk at talk of Christmas this far in advance, for many of us it is the most expensive time of the year. Many spend more on the festive period than they would on a foreign holiday. With this in mind, if you are on a tight budget, it is vital that you do some forward planning. This removes some of the strain when the time arrives. We looked at how to prepare for Christmas in advance.
The key to surviving Christmas is to spread the cost. The last thing you want is to be hit with hundreds of pounds of costs all at the same time. So start buying things now. Look for booze offers and sale items on things that will be needed over the festive period. Think about buying presents in the coming months one at a time, so that the costs of gifts spreads over multiple paydays. And never be afraid to ask others to help out if you are hosting others. The cost should not weigh solely on your shoulders.
When buying provisions for Christmas, it is a great time to cash in all those loyalty points that may be sitting on cards doing nothing. I recently checked my Nectar account and found £50 in there! So see what you have got available, cash in your copper collection and take the edge off all those upcoming costs.
Many a time i buy items that I already have, and thus spend more than necessary. So go digging in your cupboards and see what you already have in your possession for Christmas. This could be certain tinned foodstuffs for the period, decorations, wrapping paper, gift tags and more. You may already have much of what you need, including Christmas cards and more.
This could be a good time to make a few extra pounds. There are a hundred ways to do this. Perhaps start by selling on eBay any unwanted items in your house. If you do not use them, then there is little point them just sitting there doing nothing. Consider a bit of part-time seasonal work if this is a practical option. Also look at earning whilst at home – one option is by filling in surveys for financial rewards, or doing market research.
I have always wondered if this is a good use of my time. However, I know someone who has made thousands from winning items in competitions. If you can spare a few minutes every day, chance your luck, and see what happens. You have nothing to lose! You might win something you can sell or something that would make an excellent free present for a friend or loved one.