Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Are you ready for Christmas?? (I did say that, so did it get your attention!)

That's right. The old chestnut of, 'oh it's Summer Christmas is aaaAaaaAaaaAaages away'. Well, it's not! Not when you consider that the average family spends around £300 on the seasonal festivities and gifts.
Where will that money come from when the time hits?

  • How much did you spend last year?Are you still paying it off?
  • Did you eat or drink everything you bought for Christmas AT Christmas? Or was some still being eaten in January or even February?
  • Did everyone enjoy their gifts?
  • Did you charity shop or sell amny of the gifts you got given?

The reason for my post it, if you start planning now both in terms of finances and gifts, you can make Christmas 2013 a much less expensive and more enjoyable experience.

Here are some ideas that might get you started in the thinking-about-it-as-a-minimum-starting-point:

- Start saving now - a regular saver of £30 a month will help massively and be less painful than paying for it all out of November and December wages (and January and February and March....)
- Start collecting ideas - Check out Pinterest and start pinning ideas now that might come in handy - I''m thinking big jars full of goodies like: Christmas flapjacks in one, a 'movie night in' in another (ie popcorn, dvd, chocolate, unusual facts about the actors of the movie), peppermint sugar foot scrub in another (brown sugar, olive oil, peppermint oil, MIX!), a bath salts treat in another (SO easy to make - some bath salts from the £1 store, some aromatherapy oil, mix  - DONE!), some vanilla essence in a bottle (250ml vodka, 8 vanilla pods from ebay, split pods, store in cupboard for 5-6 months, shaking gently weekly). I will blog from Summer onwards with ideas to keep you inspired. What about a jar full of homemade laundry powder? Grated soap, some borax, some washing soda crystals, some baking powder, some aromatherapy oils...  This link even has a lovely printable, too cute - see pic below!

Another would be some homemade eye make up remover (maybe jojoba oil, rose aromatherapy oil. water, witch hazel)

- Make a list - Start adding ideas for presents onto a list. This could be in your diary, on Evernote, on a document on your pc. Just somewhere so you don't forget! I like to take photos when I see a present idea, and Evernote it so I know what to look at around Christmas time.

- Buy now, save later - That's right. How about buying items at boot fairs or on ebay, or making some of the gits now and keeping them to one side? Vanilla essence, laundry powder etc can all be made now.

OK, so that's probably alot to even think about right now.

So how about just two baby steps?
  1. Start a list
  2. Start a regular savings account

Make life easier on yourself - take just these 2 steps now, to save your sanity in 7 months time.

Yes I am mad, but this will hopefully at least get you thinking about the subject and saving your whole family some stress come Christmas time. I will try to think of other ideas as the months go by too so we can all work on it together.

Have a fab week everyone x


Robyn said...

Not mad at all - very sensible. We have a couple of methods of saving for Christmas - one is a savings account that gets "fed" with £25 monthly as a regular transfer so we don't even have to think about it, and the other is our "virtual Sealed Pot" account, which we "sweep" odd pennies from our individual accounts over into - my "round number" obsession helps with that one!

Jo said...

I've also got a drawer in which I put things I've bought. If I see something at a good price which I know would be just right for someone for their birthday or for Christmas, then I buy it and put it away. I keep the things in a drawer so that when Christmas (or their birthday) comes round, I know where I've put it. I learned that bit the hard way.... : )

jen Miss ipie said...

Some fantastic ideas for presents there . You have inspired me to start preparing now and open a savings account for Christmas am still paying for the last one and I wont be doing that ever again. I am going to try and collect toys for the youngest two children from car boot sales and charity shops and stash them away for christmas. Last year I made luxury food hampers for my sisters and their families they loved them I just bought a few extra bits( all bargains) each week with the food shopping. I was thinking of baking hampers for the younger girls this year as they love to bake x