Step 5 : Buy Those Gifts
It goes without saying that the sooner you get started buying gifts, the quicker you'll be done. That's not always practical in terms of finances, but if you buy some in September, some in October, and some in November, you won't have to battle with other shoppers in December or pay over the odds for those must-buy gifts that have sold out already.
Make a list of everyone you need to buy for and figure out which presents you can (or should) get early — this is particularly pertinent for children who want a toy that's sure to sell out.
Step 6 : Wrap Things — IMMEDIATELY
Once you've bought a gift, wrap it. Trust us, you'll be so glad you've done it bit by bit, way in advance, when you're chilled out on Christmas Eve sipping on something sweet while your friends are elbows deep wrapping every single present in one day.
You don't need to use Christmas wrapping paper either. It's cheaper (and more chic, some might say) to use brown parcel paper, or plain red or white. Wrap with a metallic ribbon to give it a more celebratory vibe.
Step 7 : Sort Out Your Travel
Visiting family and friends around Christmas time can take a big chunk out of your budget, especially when you've left buying your plane ticket to the last minute. Make plans now for who you're seeing when, and get your travel sorted. After all, the earlier you book, the cheaper it is.
Step 8 : Make a Food & Drink Game Plan
Many aspects of Christmas dinner have to be left to the day, but there are ways you can get organized ahead of time with your food and drink, to save time and money:
Go to the grocery store as early as possible
Cook and freeze certain items ahead of time
Bulk buy your booze to get the best discounts
Share the load with friends and family by dishing out dishes to prepare
Step 9 : Plan Your Outfits
All those sequins that will soon arrive in the shops are very tempting, but you can probably rewear quite a few outfits from last year, if you mix them up a bit.
Spend some time analyzing your wardrobe, and figure out which pieces you can pull together to make a fresh party outfit for this year. You can then spend less by buying some new accessories, rather than whole outfits. You'll also be ready for all those parties without stressing about what you're going to wear and panic buying.