With Christmas right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you’re going to prepare financially.
Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do now to ensure the holiday season runs smoothly.
Tip #1: Plan
Planning is the best way to ensure success in any event and Christmas is no different.
To start off, decide what kind of event you plan to host and make a list of who you’re going to have over. Will it be a lunch, a dinner, a party? And do you want it to be laid back, or a sit down meal? Are you planning on having the family over, or did you want to get your friends together? These questions will help you paint a picture of the day and determine the amount of money you may need to spend.
There are many things you can do to relieve stress where meals are concerned. If you know what you want to serve on the day, try and prepare some elements the day before. Dessert is usually a good place to start. If you plan to serve turkey or ham, make sure you speak to your butcher ahead of time so you’re not panicking trying to get one on Christmas Eve.
Tip #2: Consider gifts
Gifts are often the source of a lot of stress at this time of year, but if you start thinking about it now, there’s no reason why you should feel overwhelmed. Write a list of the loved ones you plan to give a gift to and set aside time to buy them. Online shopping is a great option at this time of year when you consider that most retailers offer a gift wrapping service with purchase. Your local shopping centre will most probably offer late night shopping leading up to Christmas.
If you don’t have the cash to splash on fancy gifts, try being creative and gift your loved ones IOUs such as ‘I owe you a date’, ‘I owe you quality time together’ etc. These gifts have a personal touch to them and will likely be more memorable than any item you could buy.
Tip #3: Budget
Now that you have a clear idea of how you’re going to spend your holidays, it’s time to decide how you’re going to prepare financially. Use the lists you created to put a dollar amount on both your meal preparations and your gift buying.
By putting a dollar amount on everything, you will know exactly how much you may have to spend this festive season. You can also identify any areas where you may be able to cut back and reduce your costs. For example, do you have to prepare every dish for the festive lunch or can you get your family and friends to each bring a plate? There may be quick any easy ways to reduce your expenses this Christmas.
Tip #4: Have fun
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do this festive season is enjoy yourself.
If you’ve planned every last detail, feel confident that everything will fall into place. Remember to not get hung up on the idea of perfection. This is a time to be thankful for what you have with the people you love the most.