October 23, 2018 Get the jump on Christmas savings
Wow, this year’s really flown for me. Maybe it’s the perpetual balancing act that is having a young family and running a business, but 2018 really feels like it’s had its foot firmly planted on the accelerator.
It’s the same thing every year. We emerge out of winter into spring, desperate for some warmer weather to kick in, but, once we hit October, those last eight to 10 weeks absolutely fly by.
The point I’m trying to make is this: if, like most, you’re only now turning your attention to the Christmas break, the thought of what the holiday period will cost can be enough to send you into a mild panic.
If you’ve been squirrelling money away into dedicated Christmas savings account week in, week out, great. If you haven’t, well, you still have time to save. You just need a game plan – and you’ll likely need to curb your spending for the next few months.
Here, I’ll walk you through what you need to do. You can thank me when you’re kicking back enjoying the spoils of Christmas and have enough in the kitty to actually enjoy your break, minus the stress of dipping into your cash reserves or, worse, putting stuff on your credit card.
Work out your ‘Christmas allowance’
I’m talking about the all-in amount. Christmas presents, the cost of a potential trip away, entertaining friends and family over the break, you name it. Whatever you have planned, work out the grand total. Then divide that number by the number of weeks left until Christmas. Voila! You now know exactly what you need to save each week to hit your Christmas allowance target. Sounds basic, I know, but you now have your savings baseline.
Get your priorities in order
If you’ve left everything this late in the piece, done the maths and your savings target’s looking nigh on impossible, you may need to prioritise your Christmas spending. The reason why is that you want to avoid paying for Christmas-related stuff on credit – and accumulating unnecessary bad debt – at all cost. The other thing to point out is that it’s okay to skimp on certain things if you’re running the risk of not having enough saved. I’m talking things like decorations and having extravagant platters when you’re entertaining friends and family over the break. It’s all about the company, right?!
Start buying presents now
The last thing you want to do is leave buying all your presents until the last minute. From my experience, this leaves you prone to overspending, and you often end up buying family and friends meaningless presents that they mightn’t necessarily even like anyway. So, here’s the kicker – you don’t have to wait until December to buy presents. Nowadays, I buy a present or two each month in the few months leading up to Christmas and slowly tick off my present list. Works for me.
If you’re struggling to save – and I’m also talking beyond Christmas – I’m always happy to chat. Advice aside, we have a few really handy tools to help get your savings on track. Feel free to give me a shout, and we can take it from there.
Disclaimer: all information contained within this article is of a general nature. It does not take into consideration your personal financial circumstances. Please consult a professional financial adviser (just like us 🙂 ) when making a financial decision.