Get Your Finances in Order Early for Christmas 2012

Sep 21

As the summer fizzles out and the realisation that it was yet another damp squib dawns on everyone, it may seem far too early to even think about it, let along talk about it, but Christmas is just around the corner! As we enjoy September and head swiftly towards October and November, the high street stores and online shops will soon have festive decorations on display and an array of competitively priced gifts right there in front you, drawing you and your money in.

With this in mind and the economic climate never too far from our thoughts, now is certainly the time to start planning to ensure your finances are not crippled by the spectacle that is December 25th and potential overspend on gifts for family and friends that comes with it.

By following these top tips, you can keep control of your finances and ensure you enjoy Christmas 2012 with the knowledge that your bank account isn’t suffering a December to forget:

Tip One: Start Early

Whilst you may not like to think about Christmas as we enjoy one or two hot days at the end of summer, getting started early with gift buying could certainly help you out in the long run. As the number of pay days until the big day decreases at a frantic rate, you can budget for how much you wish to spend on presents over the course of the month, ensuring that by the time we enter December you will already have a large number hidden away and it will only be the final few bits that you need to pick up when it seems the rest of the country is panicking around you.

Additionally, avoiding the panic buyers by purchasing early can only be beneficial and will guarantee you get everything you need and won’t end up leaving anyone disappointed!

Tip Two: Stay at Home Shopping

The internet is a wonderful thing and if you, like so many, loathe the swarms of shoppers found in the city centre on each Saturday in December, making the most of what’s available to you online could be just what you need. Pretty much every high street store now has an online alternative so you can find exactly the same things you would have had to have pushed past three people and a no-end of prams for in town from the comfort of your own sofa with a mug of coffee in hand!

Buying online can also make you less inclined to just pick something up that you like and take it to the till without necessarily thinking who it is for and why you are really buying it. You can simply log onto the website, add exactly what you are looking for to your basket and pay using your credit or debit card without being tempted into any expensive impulse buys.

Tip Three: Budget, Budget, Budget

It seems to be the buzz word at the minute, but putting a budget aside for practically everything and making sure it is in line with your income and your outgoings will make a huge difference. Christmas can be an expensive time, so budgeting and budgeting early should not be taken for granted. If you are a traditionalist, grab your pen and paper and make a list of all the things you want to buy for people and the approximate cost of each; if the sums don’t seem to add up with what you have available to spend, don’t be afraid to cut down and reduce or remove items from the list.

If you are a lover of technology, take hold of your phone, iPad or any other tablet device and get drawing up your list on there. There are a number of apps available to help you budget and whilst you are downloading, why not also download the apps for the particular stores you are looking to buy from to save even more time?

If you have been worrying about how you are going to pay for Christmas 2012, worry no more. Take on board these top tips and you can enjoy Christmas with family and friends without being concerned about what your bank balance is going to look like come the start of 2013!!


This post was written by Oliver Kyle on behalf of Pounds to Pocket; providers of advice on how to control your finances and unsecured loans to help you through a sticky situation.