There are various reasons some of us like to prep early for Christmas, be they financial, due to time constraints, or just because of a mega-planner nature. Whether you're looking to save money or reduce the stress of the festive season, we've come up with nine tips on what can be done now to spread the cost and save time come the weekend before Christmas. From getting ahead on the gift front and getting the biggest bargains to bagging the cheapest travel over the festive season, check out our hacks to save your sanity (and bank balance) come December.
Step 1 : SAVE!
To get ahead of Christmas financially, help spread the cost of the festive season by putting away a certain amount of money per week. You could either transfer it straight into your savings account, or relive your youth and put actual cash into a piggy bank.
The earlier you start this the better, naturally, but you can tailor it to your specific situation by working out how much you need for gifts, food, travel, nights out etc, and then divide that by the number of weeks left. Making a list and setting a budget will help you feel in control.’
Step 2 : Take Advantage of Discounts
Keeping your eye out for discounts and voucher codes in the months leading up to Christmas will help make December much more affordable.
There are certain big sales ahead of the big day — like Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the end of November — when most retailers will be offering savings on certain items. But you don't have to wait until then. Sign up for emails to get alerts for your favorite shops and grab the bargains when they come up.
Step 3 : Go Handmade
Having a handmade Christmas will certainly save you money, but you have to be organized to make it work. That's why starting early is so important. Some of the Christmas items you can make yourself include:
Step 4 : Start Your Cards
Writing Christmas cards ranks pretty high on many people's lists of tedious festive chores. That's if you actually send any. However, there are a couple of ways you can make it easier.
The first option is to design a postcard-style card online that has a stock phrase, which you can post to everyone without having to hand write anything other than their address.
The second option is to buy cards small enough to fit in your bag, and write a few whenever you have a spare moment — on the bus, waiting in a line, etc.