How to Plan Your Christmas Shopping

How to Plan Your Christmas Shopping
So long summer, hello to the cooler months and all the joy of the Christmas season. Before you get carried away trimming the tree, decking your halls and blindly buying gifts for all your loved ones, take a step back. Prepare for the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year and be smart about your Christmas shopping budget.

Christmas shopping trends

Each year, Christmas decorations and gift sets start to creep into shops a little earlier, but this doesn’t stop people from leaving their shopping until the last minute, despite the fact that some start thinking about the festive season as early as late August. In 2016, some shops even brought forward their January sales to mid December to start on “panic Saturday” and entice the latecomers.

Despite this mad rush at the end, it’s recommended that you start your Christmas shopping in October - that way you can budget, plan and find the best deals.

Make the most of your Christmas shopping budget

Setting aside time to carefully plan and prepare for Christmas means that you can optimise your Christmas shopping budget. This way, you won’t need to spend a chunk all in one go and leave yourself short for the end of the year festivities. Our infographic shows how you can have a stress-free seasonal spree without blowing your budget.

Treat yourself with a rewards credit card

As an added bonus, why not treat yourself too? Using rewards credit cards means that you can earn extras every time you spend. This varies for each provider but you could earn cashback to spend on yourself in the new year, or even airmiles to get away during those January blues.

Just remember to factor the payments into your budget so that you can pay off the outstanding balance in the new year.

Christmas budgeting infographic

Christmas shopping on a budget

Now’s the time to begin your Christmas shopping preparations! In October you can start to research when the different sales hit, plan for Black Friday and budget your money to avoid one last minute splurge. Here’s our Choose Wisely Christmas money planner.

Make your list and check it twice.

  • Make a list of the loved ones your buying gifts for and work out how much you have to spend on each.
  • Don’t forget to total up - you can then split this between your October, November and December income.
  • Plan your gifts so you can search for the best deals online or make the most of multi-buys.
  • Don’t worry about big ticket items - you could wait until Black Friday!
  • Work out your spend per week or month so you can plan on when the best time to buy is.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

  • Set milestones to make sure you’re ready for settling down with a festive tipple while your wrap.
  • Have a clear idea of when you want to start shopping and when you want to finish.
  • Plan for the days you want to throw yourself into the bustle of the high street, or the evenings spent browsing online.

It’s Turkey time!

  • Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle thinking about Christmas dinner, with proper preparation you’ll be able to serve up a feast.
  • Spread the cost by adding non-perishable foods to your weekly shops in the run up to the big day.
  • Watch out for supermarket offers - you could pick up drinks and snacks for a reasonable price.
  • You could even pick up Christmas pudding ingredients for cheap throughout November!
  • Get in early when it comes to the turkey and preorder yours as soon as you can.
  • So when the festive season is in full swing you only need to worry about the fresh veg and delicious cheeses a few days before - don’t forget the brussels!

And after your Christmas preparation is complete, it’s time to celebrate the big day!

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