No one wants to think about Christmas in August when it’s warm and balmy outside. And yet this is the best time to do it – when you still have a good four months to go until the big day.
The reason many people overspend at the end of the year is because they think they have all the time in the world to save for the festive season. But we all know that’s not the case. In reality when summer is over the days seem to fly by until December – and by then it’s too late to save from the last pay check as it arrives at the end of November.
How on earth do you plan for Christmas in August?
There are ways of doing it. For example you should start by making a list of who you want to buy for. If you’re really strapped for cash you can either agree not to swap gifts with people or think about going down the homemade route instead. When you do this in August you’ve got far more time to start thinking of ideas for homemade gifts. You can find what you need and plan when to do them too. It’s far cheaper and easier than having a vague idea to go down this route and then finding you haven’t got time come mid-December.
Start budgeting too
Once you know who you need to buy a gift for, you can start assessing your budget. You don’t have to spend a fortune on everyone but now is the best time to get an idea of your overall budget. It will help you figure out how much cash you need to set aside every pay day between now and, say, a couple weeks before Christmas.
Depending on what you want to buy, you can either start buying items now or set aside the cash and wait until nearer the time. You may want to wait for the pre-Christmas releases, products and festive items. That’s fine, but make sure you don’t spend the cash in the meantime. Set up a Christmas savings account and put all the cash in there. Make a transfer as soon as you get paid, whether that means doing it weekly or monthly.
Not only will you be prepared for the festive season well in advance, you’ll also be one of the few people who doesn’t overspend come December. You’ll also have the advantage of not being in debt in January 2015. Getting that January credit card bill is never a nice feeling. When you wake up on New Year’s Day with great intentions of saving and investing money in 2015, it’s hard when you know you’re already in debt thanks to another mismanaged festive season.
However when you take the route we’ve described above, you don’t have to wake up with that on your mind. Instead you can focus on the lack of debt you have and the opportunity you have to start investing straightaway.